Use It Don’t Waste It Challenge – End of Week 1

In case you missed it, I started a “Use It Don’t Waste It Challenge” with my readers for April. You can read about it and should you choose to join, you can sign-up for the $100 in Gardening Items Giveaway on the original posting. (Not on this one or it won’t be counted.)

So I promised a re-cap of how I worked at using and not wasting items throughout the week. Here’s what my week looked like:

1) I made a meal plan for the week. This was a tremendous time and money saver and it helped me plan to use leftovers in other meals, as you’ll soon see. If there’s one big way to save on your grocery budget, it’s to have a meal plan.

2) We grilled Bratwurst on Sunday and I cooked up a few extra for Pizza on a Stick night and to add to spaghetti sauce on Tuesday.

3) Used leftover pizza sauce as spaghetti sauce for lunch. I recommend the Eden Organic Pizza/Pasta Sauce as it’s blended to handle both types of meals. Don’t you love multi-tasking food! :) (I get mine at Vitacost. The $10 credit is still available as of 4/7/12.)

4) Used leftover french loaf bread as homemade croutons and garlic bread for salads and meals later.

5) I made tuna wraps (recipe coming soon!) and used leftover romaine lettuce for salad the following day.

6) I cooked a whole chicken and then made homemade broth from the bones & juices. (Recipes for those coming next week!) Used chicken for burrito wraps, salad and soup for the week.

7) I kept leftover veggies and made a homemade soup. I also cut-up leftover spaghetti and added them to the soup. It worked out well.

8 ) I used oranges to make orange juice. I kept the pulp and used it in smoothies and banana bread.

9) I used over-ripe bananas I had frozen and some leftover orange pulp (pulled out any “skins”) to make a Healthier Banana Bread Recipe.

10) I froze a container of strawberries and leftover pineapple for smoothies at a later date. (will post next week on how to do this)

11) I froze extra soup into small containers for quick lunches at a later date.

12) I used leftover corned beef and potatoes I had made for lunch in the crockpot to make corned beef hash for breakfast.

13) I used leftover spinach I had bought for salads as a cooked spinach side and added to scrambled eggs. (Great way to make “Green Eggs and Ham!)

14) I noticed we had a enough leftovers to “cancel” a meal I had planned. I’ll use that planned meal next week. Extra savings!!

15) I used fruit I bought for snacks, cut-up in oatmeal and in smoothies.

Here are some non-food ways I didn’t waste items this week, too:

1) I saved newspapers and fruit/salad containers for gardening.

2) I composted fruit peels and non-meat scraps. I emptied out my compost container 3 times which probably saved me from using an extra garbage bag. This could not only add up to savings on bags but I’ll end up with my own compost for gardening.

3) I re-used containers in crafts.

4) I used paper leftover from the printable coupons I cut for a scrap pad for the kids and extra paper for shopping/to-do lists.

5) I kept magazines (ripped off address label) and will give them to the school so they can earn money.

I’m hoping that you were able to find several ways to work your extra food into new meals and to not waste anything, if possible, this week. I’d love to hear what you did to not waste items!