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quick tip ways to use raw and leftover vegetable scraps

Our quick tip for today comes from a Southern Savers reader, Courtney! Courtney said that she makes homemade vegetable broth with the scraps leftover from preparing food. She collects potato peels, onion peels, apple peels, carrot peels, the tops and bottoms of celery stalks, unused parts of green onions, etc.

Then, she has a container in the freezer that she puts all the scraps in. When it is full she puts it in a big pot with salt, pepper, a bay leaf and enough water to cover and simmer an hour. After an hour, she strains and pours the broth into ice cube trays to freeze. Once frozen she puts the cubes in a Ziploc bag.

She does a similar thing to use leftover cooked vegetables. After dinner when there is only a tablespoon or two of corn, peas and carrots, green beans, etc left in the pot she would just throw them away. Now she keeps a quart mason jar in her freezer and put the scraps in there.

Once the jar is full she will use it to make dinner. Her favorite is to use the homemade vegetable broth and make ‘scrap soup’.

This is a great way to make a whole meal using scraps we usually throw away! She also uses scraps in shepherd’s pie, Frittata, and pot pie. Pretty much any recipe that calls for ‘a can of mixed vegetables’ you can use scraps for.

If you have a quick tip to share please leave it in a comment below or e-mail me.

(Thanks, Courtney!)

See more frugal living tips.

    • Laura Gillen

      Great tip! Also once you make the vegetable broth, If you are a composter, like myself, you can throw the leftovers in the pile. Nothing goes to waste!

    • casail

      Thank you for featuring! You can check out these ideas and a few others on my new blog http://recipesandlivingfromtheshorterside.blogspot.com/

    • Linda

      Great idea! I never thought of putting the veggie scraps in the freezer. I’ll have to put them next to the bread scraps for the bread crumbs. Thanks!

    • Very clever! At my house we are able to “eat” the leftovers again by feeding them to our chickens, who give us eggs :)

    • Great idea.

    • Carla

      I do much the same. To make chicken stock, add the remains of a rotisserie chicken. I always save the carcass and any juice from it – freeze it and when I am ready, I add whatever veggies like carrots, celery, onions (cut in half and don’t peel), a head of garlic cut in half, some kosher salt and peppercorns and some dried thyme and parsley (fresh in the summer from the garden). I usually do this when the celery,carrots or onions are on their last leg and I would have thrown them out in the past. A version of Barefoot Contessa’s chicken stock. It is fabulous!!! Dark and rich!

    • Lana

      I put veggie leftovers and any kind of meat, broth, gravy and even bits of leftover casseroles in my freezer container for soup. I do not save any kind of potatoes because they are an odd texture in soup after they are frozen. I dump the frozen block in a kettle and add broth and simmer for 30 minutes. We call this garbage soup! Some is so-so and some is absolutely delicious but never to be duplicated.

    • Denise

      I have always saved my cooked leftover veggies for vegetable soup – corn, beans, peas, etc. I got this from my mother and grandmother. I put them all in a Ziploc bag in the freezer, and when I have enough saved I dump in a big pot with a ham bone and/or pieces of ham and a big can of tomato juice. Also add macaroni or other small pasta. My family loves vegetable soup.

    • Mary Hudnall

      Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

    • Guest

      I’ve been doing this for years and people are always amazed at how I can just whip up homemade broth! I also add a tbs of fenugreek seeds. Great tip!

    • Catherine

      We save cooked veggies and meat at our house too and call it hodge podge soup!

    • Erin

      My grandmother would always save her leftover vegetable scraps, freezing them after each meal to make vegetable soup. It was the best, and always had more flavor than starting with plain raw or canned veggies.

    • pokyhi

      Can you save lettuce?

    • AJ

      I must be the only one who eats leftovers till they’re gone.