Welcome to the Vicky Challenge! I hope you had a good weekend. Thank you for all your encouragement last week. I had a restful weekend and feel ready to take the bull by the horns again!
I hope you had a lovely Mothers day too! The girls put on afternoon tea for me. It was beautiful!
My Vicky Challenge last week included:
I colour changed a pair of winter boots. They are in good condition and look great. I think this probably saved me around $200 as now I have scrapped plans to buy some.
My side of the road Ficus tree would have to be worth $100 at least. Its made my back courtyard look lovely!
I made all the work lunches $100.
The fish Andy caught were $27 a kilo in the shops and he caught 3 kilos = just over $80 worth!
I made a big batch of chicken soup. This fed everyone plus some frozen for later.
I cooked a giant pot of spaghetti sauce. It provided meals and frozen meals.
(I am not sure the savings to say for those... but these things mean we never get take away)
I made three dozen cornbread muffins. As muffins are at least $3 each here I will say $90 (after costs)
And I took apart my handheld vacuum as it wasn't working properly. Following the directions on how to take it apart and clean inside I did all this step by step and it worked! So I saved there over a repair man for sure.
It is well over $500 in savings. I will fine tune that a bit before writing my total into my book. I do that so I can add up each month and ultimately get a total for the year!
I hope you also found ways to save and get ahead. Last week so many of you had testimonies of how getting ahead has helped you to stay afloat in hard times, help others, pay off mortgages and is making an absolute world of difference. Almost all of it is achieved bit by bit. It is the small things that add up!
Each week we are trying to come up with new ideas! We want to see how much our efforts save and add to the family budget and position but also learn more and more so we can build on that.
This week our extra savings subject is scraps! Ok, that doesn't sound wonderful but people throw out so much food that they consider to be scraps or waste.
A common thing that we have left over is bread. I tend to freeze bread so these days I have less leftovers but I used to have many. I wrote a post ages ago called "Never waste a slice of bread!" One of the loveliest things you can make is Bread and Butter Pudding. I make this as a cake. It looks beautiful, slices nicely and is yum. It is served warm with cream. It also uses up jam as I always have plenty of that.
I will let you read bread ideas at the above link. And the recipe for this Pudding is there too.
I have a cooking show I love and learn from. I could see that in a commercial kitchen nothing is wasted. It would not be viable to waste food. Every peeling, stalk, bone, oddment goes into something. They are amazingly inventive on how to use everything.
Stock is probably the number one way to use every bit of left overs. I have only been regularly making stock for a year or so. Now I love to make it! And then it is the base of many soups which is another wonderful way to use up every last piece of vegetable, meat, herbs etc.
I make my stock in the crockpot. I have a colander that fits inside the crock pot and that I pack with whatever I have no hand. At the end of the day I just lift this out and it is self strained. However you do it doesn't matter. Long slow cooking extracts the goodness and flavor.
Aside from soups stock is great to cook your rice in! Stock or bone broth is full of nutrients. I think of it as a cheap way of making vitamins! If you think of it that way imagine not buying vitamins and instead using everything you can to add nutrition to your home cooking? Pouring water from veggies down the drain is pouring vitamins down the drain and then we go out and buy vitamins!
At home I do not peel potatoes, carrots etc I just scrub them. Many things have most vitamins and minerals in the skin. But if you do peel them they can go into your stock. The stems from the bunch of parsley go in too!
I keep and use all celery tops. They make the best stock ever! I freeze it too, fresh, if I have too much at one time. It just goes from the freezer into the next batch of stock or chicken soup.
Broccoli stems go into soup. You often get a lot of stem. I keep it all. If I am not making soup yet I just freeze the whole bit in my "future soup" bag in the freezer. This bag fills up faster than you think. Soon you have the makings of a big pot of soup.
You could also slice it in a stir fry, grate it in a zucchini pie etc.
The bones from your roast or ham can all go into wonderful stocks. To make baby food I usually get a lamb shank or other sliced through bone with some meat on it and add loads of veggies. This is so nourishing! I reported before that I costed this out and compared to store bought baby food. My crockpot full of baby food would be $70 in jars from the store and I can make it for about $5. I think homemade is better too.
Vicky saves her pumpkin seeds and grinds them for her chickens. I feed them to our parrot!
Of course there are also other ways to put scraps to use. If you have chickens then nothing really ever goes to waste, or a worm farm or a compost bin. They are all great as well.
Patsy at A Working Pantry has a Facebook group. Each week she has a challenge of coming up with 100 ways to use something up. This is a great source of ideas for all kinds of leftovers. And things! The other day it was 100 ways to use ice-cream containers!
Now over to you! I want to see how many ways we can come up with to use up scraps. We have some serious savers here just trying to get ahead. (wisely) And we have some families experiencing hard financial times. Food going into the bin is money going into the bin! Food prices seem to just be going up and up. So if you can help with this it might really help someone and will certainly help me.
I am amazed at how many new tips I have from you all that I am now using and wonder why I never thought of! Ways to use scraps and left overs can add "free" meals and so much goodness.
Have a great week! xxx