Waste Not, Want Not!

Man, is this old adage making it's rounds back into our thinking these days or what! Of course, for a lot of us, this is just everyday normal. It was never out of fashion. However, a whole new generation is discovering that there ARE ways to be frugal that are very simple. Which is awesome to see.

Today I had spent time gabbing with my mom. We had another day out and spent several hours enjoying the day and gabbing. We were talking about cooking and some recipes. I was telling her that I used up all my frozen veggie juice the other day for a pot of soup. She knew exactly what I was referring to because she is the one who taught me to do this.

In my freezer door I have one shelf dedicated to my "baggies". There is a ziplock bag where, when I open a can of veggies, all the juice gets drained into it and back in the freezer it goes. Another baggie is for the same thing but, for canned fruit and the juice from the cans. Another bag is all those little bits and pieces of cooked meats. They all go into that baggie. The next baggie is bits and pieces of cheese (all those ends pieces that get hard). Another larger bag is all bread pieces. I also have a baggie for coffee cubes (the leftover coffee of the day gets poured into ice cube trays and once frozen goes into the baggie).

Veggie juice is the base for soup. The best, richest soup base ever! Fruit juice is used in baking and in smoothie making. The meat bag is also for soups (mostly, I will make a gravy with them or for meat pies). Cheese bag...Well, um, just about anything Italian or Mexican or just yummy homemade mac & cheese. And then bread is for anything that I need to make a stuffing or bread pudding or croutons etc. The coffee cubes goes into beef gravies, sauces (makes beef dishes much richer) and then they can be used for iced coffee drinks as well.

I was surprised recently at how many people don't do this. Like I said earlier, it's something I grew up with and never once thought it was a "we're so poor we have to eat scraps" kind of thing. (yes, I actually heard someone say this!) LOL I always think of these baggies as a person who makes bread and cherishes their bread "starter".

I also have individual baggies with beef, chicken, pork and turkey "drippin's". I don't even know how to make gravy without these baggies. I have never been a big canned or powdered gravy maker. I always make it from scratch because it's what I know and what I do and it is second nature to me.

Since both my mom and I are major cook from scratch people and rarely have much convenience type food in our house, we got onto a discussion about our treasured "baggies". And I just love when my mom teaches me a new trick! LOL So, I am going to share this little tidbit with you. My mom said that she now keeps all of her cardboard half and half containers and even a couple of half gallon milk or juice cardboard containers and she cuts them down and lines them with the ziplock bag so, when she gets ready to pour something into the baggie, she just opens it up and pours it in and everything now freezes into a "block' that fits in the door shelf instead of all these misshaped baggies. It was one of those "slap me up the side of the head...DUH" moments for me!

So, don't just throw out that last little bit of some meat or drain the can of veggies down the sink. Not only is it money going down the drain/trash but, it is also some of the best starts for yummy dishes!

Don't forget to stop by Amanda's Cookin for more Thrifty Thursday Ideas!


  1. Brilliant! It's funny, I'm reading your post thinking "wow, that must be baggie havoc in the freezer" LOL. I know because I have baggies of citric zest, raw meat scraps (for making beef broth), and small baggies of leftover rice for soups. I LOVE your mom's idea. it's funny, because I use a small drinking cup with a baggie tucked inside to help with getting stuff into the baggie, but never thought of your mom's use :) Also, LOVE the idea of the coffee ice cubes! I was JUST looking at some leftover coffee yesterday and wondered what I could do with it. Thanks for all the great tips!

  2. I'm also a scratch gal but it never occured to me to do this! Thanks for the wonderful tip about the cold coffee cubes too! Great ideas.

  3. Awesome tips Diann! I do many of these already, but you take it even further. (I recently did an article on 10 things to use ice cube tray for other than making ice.) Great tips about adding the coffee to gravies, I had never thought of that one. It would also work in chili (I tend to add a little coffee to my chili anyway) and beef stews. The milk carton idea is great too. In fact I think I will save them just to put in composting scraps while cooking. So thanks for the new ideas that prompted in even more ideas in me. Great post!

  4. I came across your blog and I'm enjoying reading your thoughts. I feel so responsible for every scrap of food I have that I too try not to waste anything. I continue to learn. Thank you, Bobbie

  5. Amanda, I always keep all my little baggies in a big ziplock bag but, now, I am so using my mom's idea! I just love when get great tips from mom after all these years! LOL. Oh and you are gonna LOVE the richness the frozen coffee cubes add to beef meals!

    Sherry, Thank so much for the comment! Don't ya just love getting a new idea?!

    Cheri,I love when you read a good tip and then that tip makes you think of other things! Great idea about the composting scraps. that make it easier than my bread bag that I keep hanging around for just that!

    Bobbie, I am so glad you found me. I know exactly what you mean about feeling guilty about not using up every little bit of things. thanks for stopping by!

    Diann :)


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your ideas. If you ask a question, I will answer it here in a comment back to you. Please check back! Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful day! Diann :)