My Top 15 Ways to Use Stuff Up

Last night was the Sydney ABCD bloggers/designers meet-up, this time centred around the idea of sharing. I'll for sure be sharing some of the things I got in the infamous 'goodie bag' {except for those brownies - gone} ... but in the meantime, I thought in the spirit of sharing, I might tell you my top 15 ways to use stuff up. Reduce waste. Save money by not throwing {expensive} food out.

Amanda xx


I can't stand wasting things, especially things that were alive once - that drank water and sat in soil and felt the warm sun. In fact, I have to admit that a lot of what we eat around my house revolves around 
  • what looked good at the farmer's market/supermarket
  • what was cheap at the farmer's market/supermarket
  • what needs using up pronto
So yes, I will concoct a risotto out of wilted lettuce because I want that lettuce to have a chance - any chance - to shine. And personally, I think that is a really cool thing to do.

{Of course, I'm biased.}

And here are some of my other favourite ways to use up stuff.

1. Bananas. Peel and freeze them or slice them thinly and set them on a rack to dry in the back window of your car. Seriously. Back window.

2. Milk. Make ricotta or yogurt. Make your ricotta into bread. Freeze it. Use it in baking. Slightly-soured milk does wonders for a cake!

3. Tomato paste. Freeze it in little cubes. Use it in quantities that make sense {unlike 250mL, right?}

4. Random veggies. Dice them up and make the greatest-ever sesame salt for your stirfry. Almost anything goes contentedly into an omelette, or frittata, or scrambled eggs ... Milk and cheese can make almost any leftover veggies happy!

5. Random wilty veggies and veggie-tops. Slow cook an excellent stock. Freeze some, so you can remember it later on and make a delish soup or risotto with it.

6. Ginger. Freeze it or plant it or dehydrate it or pickle it for sushi. Make a lassi and pretend you're traveling. Ginger is amazing.

7. Lemons or limes. Use every last bit of your precious citrus ... including the zest! You might even want to use leftover shells for cleaning. {If you're so inclined ...}

8. Stale bread. Those terrible, child-loathed crusts. Cut them up into cubes and freeze them til you have enough to make stuffing. Or bread pudding. Something where a rich sauce/stock soaks up into all that dry bread and transforms it into pure, edible gold.

9. Leftover wine? Are you kidding? Well, it happens ... and when it does, make your very own flavoursome vinegar with it. Or freeze it in cubes for adding to stews later on. {When you don't want to waste a drop of the bottle you've got open.}

10. Tomatoes. Sometimes you end up with so many it makes you cringe to look at them. If that happens, just pop them in the oven {whole, or chunked} and roast till they're crinkly and soft and maybe even slightly charred. You can make them into a sauce, or if they get semi-dried enough, you can add them to sandwiches or oil-dressed pasta. Freeze leftovers for emergencies.

11. Melon rind. Did you know that a fresh, organic melon rind makes incredible pickles? Try watermelon or honeydew ... something with a softish rind, and be prepared to become addicted. 

12. Kale. Leafy stuff. When there's only so much you can take, stick the rest into the oven and make 'chips' ... or, if you're like me, make chips then crumble them into a sprinkle for salads.

13. Beer. You know when your husband forgets a $4 beer in the freezer? Don't waste it. Make it into ale bread! Slather with butter, and honey, and marvel at your own genius.

14. Too much of a good thing. I went to an organic market once and convinced myself I needed 2kg of crisp, green beans. Instead of overdosing on produce, you can cut them up and blanch them - then pop them in the freezer for when you're not so ... er ... lucky. Try this with any number of veggies.

15. Egg whites? Make meringue. {They also freeze well for later.} Egg yolks? Cookies. Or custard. Or ice cream! Or add to your next batch of breakfast eggs.

So, these are some of my favourite tips to share ... do you have some?


  1. Hi Amanda, It was great to meet you last night at abcd blogger/designer get together! It was a great evening!

    Love your blog it's gorgeous! Thanks for all those great food leftover tips... yum! :)

  2. @lamina@do a bit Lovely to meet you, too! And thanks for the positive feedback :) Makes me happy!

  3. I've been meaning to write a blog post about food waste. It's a ongoing discussion in our household where knowing who is going to be home for any evening meal can be tricky and you can overcook - because you haven't been told who'll be home. I also find living with adult dependants, because they don't fork out for groceries they'll open packets before the last one is empty. I made a jam slice last weekend because even as I asked the 18-year-old to check for jam in the fridge before opening another jar, he didn't and I found two jars with about a tablespoon in each in the fridge, along with the freshly opened jar. Drives me wild.

  4. This is a great post! If I have cilantro I need to use up, I make cilantro pesto. For spinach or kale that needs to be used I usually just throw it in a smoothie. When I have a lot of random veggies to use I make soup or stew.

  5. @katiecrackernuts If I was your 18 year old I'd be opening new jars of jam all the time ... :)


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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx