There is nothing my frugal mind reacts to more strongly than food being wasted. (I thank my parents for “there are kids starving so clean your plate before you leave this table” brainwashing.) And now that we’re (finally) having a national conversion about food wastage these tips may come in handy in your kitchen…


Be aware of edible produce you might be throwing away unknowingly. Sometimes the entire vegetable can be used but we only know how to use a part of it. I’ve watched people discard perfectly good parts of a vegetable because they didn’t know how nutritious and delicious it could be. For example:

– Don’t peel potatoes!! Just don’t! You’re throwing away most of the disease-fighting fiber and a good portion of the vitamin C and vitamin B6 when you peel your potatoes. Simply wash them under running water, rubbing away any dirt, and trimming away any “eyes” or scabs. Then roast, bake, or boil as normal. You won’t even notice the difference.

– Broccoli stems don’t have to be discarded. Simply cut it away from the “trees” and then peel or trim away the tough part, trim the end about 1/4” and then cut the stem into 1/4-1/2” discs or half discs. Steam or stirfry them with the trees, or eat them raw! They’re delicious and nutritious. Also, if you’re likely enough to get little broccoli leaves, wash and eat them while prepping …or at least throw them in your dish…but don’t throw them out. They are so nutritious!

– Scallions (green onions) have two parts, a thick whitish-greenish stem with a hairy end, and green hollow ends. I’ve watched some people cut apart and throw away the thick stem part and only use the dark green ends for their salad, and I’ve watched people cut off and throw away the green hollow part and only use the white-green stems. ALL of the parts of the scallion is nutritious and delicious, so use it all…you can even eat the hairy end. Or not. ;-D

What else might you be throwing away when you could be using it to extend your food dollars?

And, remember to plan a menu to reduce vegetables going soggy in the fridge!! Or, at the very least write out a list of your intentions for the veggies you bring home so they don’t get forgotten…especially if you purchase a weeks worth at a time. Or, if you live near a good grocer, you might want to just pick up your fresh produce every few days!

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