Food Saving Tips – What To Do With Food Scraps?

Published on July 8, 2022 | Updated on July 17, 2024 | by Allen Bixby

We know that cooking and preparing food in your kitchen also has a certain amount of food waste. Even though some items are ultimately going to end up in garden mulch, many scraps can be repurposed so they can become delicious additions to your kitchen. Here’s some ideas of how you can save food scraps instead of wasting them.

What To Do With Food Scraps?

growing food from food scraps

With so many vegetables and fruits that get trimmed are typically thought to be garbage or compost items. The same applies to meat products that need to have the bones removed. While this is great if you grow your own garden, too often they get tossed out in the trash. Here is what you can do with food scraps that you never would have thought would be worth all the fuss to save and repurpose.

Soup stock and sauces

You would be surprised how effective these trimmings are at making soup stock when vegetable and leftover meat bones. Carrot trimmings, celery tops, potato peels, and obviously other veggies can be thrown in to create a delicious soup stock or the beginning of a sauce that is pureed. Mat bones are boiled to get out the internal flavors from the marrow and make excellent broth or stock.

Natural food dye

Beet, carrot, cabbage, onion skin, and spinach all make great natural food dye that can be used to color clothing and fabric at home. It might seem a bit more labor-intensive, but ironically, this is how clothing has been colored for centuries! It’s also a cost-effective method since clothing dye is often very expensive at the store. These colors can also be used to color Easter eggs.

Have a variety of seeds to grow

Nearly any veggie or fruit has a seed that can be saved and dried so it doesn’t go to waste. It doesn’t take much to make them grow if you have a garden and want to cultivate these fruits and vegetables in your backyard.

Make chip snacks from scraps

Using a standard food dryer is not advised to get leftover veggie and fruit skins to be nice and crispy. If you have a food dehydrator, the results are much better for achieving crisp and crunchy scraps that your and your kids will love. Before they get dried, you can add spices and flavors to veggie scraps while fruits will be better suited for cinnamon and nutmeg.

Are There Other Food Scraps To Be Reused?

Savory croutons in bowl

You can always turn end scraps of bread that are always leftover into cost-effective breadcrumbs. You can season and slice these stale slabs into squares and bake them into savory croutons for soups and salads. Items like crackers can be collected into a single plastic container and used as cracker toppings for casseroles.


Cheese is another scrap that we often think is immediately thrown out when it gets dry. As long as there is no mold growing on your cheese, this can be grated and used for all sorts of dry cheese toppings or add them to your cheese plate. These hard and dry sections of cheese can be collected for months and ground up using a fine cheese grater. They might be too hard to chop up in a food processor since these can waste a blade in no time.

Chickpeas and Aquafaba

If you like buying chickpeas that come in a can or from a jar, you probably didn’t realize that the liquid that it comes in has much use aside from being a slimy goop. This liquid has recently been found to be just as important as the chickpea itself. It can be used as a replacement for egg whites. It can be made into whipped cream, meringue, and cream of tartar.

Citrus peels

Citrus peels seem like they don’t have anything they can be used for but these make excellent zest when these are ground up. They can also be turned into tasty candied orange, lemon, and lime. It can be sliced into thin strips and dried to add into tea for added flavor. It can also be turned into a heated potpourri pot to get a fresh smell.

Corn cobs

Corn cobs are also an underrated source of making a soup stock commonly known as corn stock. This corn stock is perfect for making a healthy soup that includes leftover rice, noodles, and grains. Of course, you do have to remove the leftover cob husks when they get boiled, but can otherwise be dried out and used as a disposable BBQ grill scrubber.

About the Author Allen Bixby

A retired restaurateur, not quite ready to stop playing in the kitchen.

I have had the pleasure of watching amazing high end chefs, and classic American style diner cooking, creating a very diverse background with food. Add both parents teaching English, watching Julia Childs and Graham Kerr as a child, and learning to bake bread from my Finnish great grandma, and you get a decent recipe for a knowledgeable voice to write about food.

From recipe design to equipment testing, there is a broad spectrum of entertaining aspects of food and how we do what we do every day to feed our loved ones!

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