Money Mondays: Stop Wasting Food and Save Money!

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

I was catching up on my article reader and found these two articles about food waste that riled me up: About 40 Percent Of All Food In The United States Is Thrown In The Garbage  and Top 20 Foods Wasted

It is such as shame that so much food is wasted while other people are going hungry.   We can’t do anything about industrial food waste, but we can certainly minimize throwing away good food in our own homes.

The same self-sufficiency skills that we are learning as preppers also come in handy in helping stretch the food dollar by avoiding waste.


  • Use your cooking skills to rescue overripe bananas from the trash by making banana bread.
  • Make croutons out of dry, old bread before it turns moldy.  Here’s a quick recipe:  Slice the bread into small squares.  Drizzle olive oil over the bread pieces.  Sprinkle garlic and onion salt over the mixture as well; use your favorite herbs such as basil, oregano etc for flavor.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (your oven temps may vary).  Check periodically to make your croutons don’t get overly brown.
  • Make soup or broth out of roast chicken bones, and vegetable scraps.  Store bits of leftover meats, vegetables, and starches in a large plastic container in your freezer.  Once you have a good amount, add chicken or beef broth, a few herbs such as parsley and a bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and make soup.
  • When you carve your Halloween pumpkin, don’t throw out the pumpkin seeds.  Wash the seeds thoroughly, removing any pulp.  Dry on a towel or paper towels.  Spread them on a cookie sheet and mix with 2 tbsp of oil.  Add your favorite seasonings or just plain salt and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Keep checking every 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Add some more seasoning if you like.  That’s it!
  • Make it a habit to eat leftovers for lunch the next day.  Now that the holidays are only a few months away, you will have lots of opportunities to stretch your food budget:  See Avoid Holiday Food Waste
  • If your family does not like leftovers, cook less food.  Cut the recipe in half.


  • I was guilty of using only a pinch of herbs for a recipe and allowing the rest to wilt in the fridge – until I tried drying the herbs myself.  Check out this course about food dehydrating.


  • Canning is a great way to preserve the bounty of each season.  Or, if you find you have an overabundance of a certain fruit in your yard, don’t let them go to waste by canning the extra fruit.
  • If you’re not ready to buy canning equipment make refrigerator preserves such as marinated mushrooms.  They won’t last as long, but at least you can make use of the food for a longer time.


  • Some of my most popular posts is about growing food from trash.   I was surprised to find that new growths could come out of green onion roots, celery stumps and discarded ginger pieces.  The photo above shows a fresh crop of green onions from roots I had left in the refrigerator.
  • Use old coffee grounds and crushed egg shells to supplement your soil.

These are just a few ideas for rescuing food and making use of items that would have otherwise been thrown out.   You can see the YouTube video here:

Please share your favorite tips in the comments so everyone can pick up a few ideas.

About the author:

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.



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  1. I like to use a crockpot when I am making soup or beans. and those crockpot bags are great things I added any leftover vegies I have in the refrigerator and the bones I have saved up in the freezer. I do not peel my potatoes I simply wash them very well and cook them up skins and all. I do remove the eyes and bad spots. Limp carrots and celery cook up just fine. I also like to use the celery leaves in my cooking as well. I take the extra and cool it down and put it in Food Saver bags and freeze it before I vacuum back it down in to meal size bags.

    1. Hi oldguy, That is great you are able to get the most out of food instead of throwing them out. Even better you have a Food Saver to set aside future meals. Thanks for the comment!

    1. Hi oldguy, Good point! I’d hate to waste a batch of potatoes due to being exposed to onions! I think it’s from the gases onions give out. Thanks for bringing that up.

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