Post a story, share a secret family tip or nominate a friend or member of your family.
Post a story, share a secret family tip or nominate a friend or member of your family.
Plan your meals for the week (I do mine on Saturday before the big shop). Make a list accordingly, and stick to it. I’ve been doing this for 25+ years and can say we rarely waste food.
- Nimisha , Toronto
If you are making a recipe and notice you don’t have a specific ingredient, instead of running to the grocery store to grab the one ingredient (that chances are you won’t use all of it) just google a substitution. You would be shocked at most of the substitutions you can use, and generally, the substitution uses items you probably already have on hand.
- Darian, Leamington
For leftover pasta, add olive oil to a frying pan, heat on med-high (6), add the leftover pasta and fry it, turning it occasionally until heated through. We like ours crisp.
If you like it spicy add some Chili flakes and garlic to the hot oil just before adding the pasta.
Or make an omelette with it and add eggs to the pan and some Parmesan.
- Eva, Originally Rome, but I now live in Toronto
Leftover cooked potatoes or fries (odd but it happens!), make a potato omelette.
Heat a tbsp oil in a frying pan.
Scramble a couple of eggs with a splash of milk and a dash of salt and pepper in a bowl.
Chop the potatoes into cubes (roughly 1cm or so) and mix them into the egg mixture.
Pour into the frying pan and cook through. Flip it so as to cook both sides.
- Eva, Originally Rome, but live in Toronto
Rather than composting your broccoli stems, chop them into smaller chunks (raw) then pulse in a food processor – instant broccoli rice! You can cook it in a pan over medium heat and season as you would cauliflower rice or freeze for later use.
- Sarah, Ottawa
Cleaning out my son’s lunchbox each school day, I will take the uneaten fruit that has become soggy and will put in a small ziplock bag in freezer. I keep filling it and once it’s full, I make him a smoothie.
The veggies he didn’t are sometimes added to that evening’s dinner.
- Sherry, Toronto
I don’t have a set recipe for this because I usually wing it with whatever is in the house.
I like to take leftover mashed potatoes and turn them into a type of potato latkes. I add finely chopped green onions and/or peppers if I have some in the house. Sometimes I will add a beaten egg if I want to give it more sustenance.
Mix everything together. Add more salt and pepper if you like or a dash of Thyme or Oregano.
I shape them into patties, lightly coat them with flour or bread crumbs and fry them up until golden brown and crispy. Serve them hot with sour cream or apple sauce.
- Antoinette, Brampton
If you have a recipe that calls for a specific amount of onion, don’t stick that half onion back in the fridge to be forgotten. Chop the whole thing up and freeze what you dont need. It’s great for all purposes.
- Lynn, Maple Ridge
I peel mine with a vegetable peeler and put them in the steamer with the rest of the broccoli. I cook the hearts of cabbage also in a steamer and put a tiny bit of butter salt and lemon pepper and vinegar on them – Yum. All parts of most vegetables are eatable and tasty… they just need to be tried and then enjoyed…no need for any waste!
- Shirlee, Vanderhoof
I like to slice the stalks of Broccoli into thin disks, sprinkle a little salt, and just eat them as a snack to avoid wasting them.
- Doug, Thunder Bay
Bananas freeze very well whole in the peel. Great for baking, store in ziploc bag.
Scrap left over vegetables into a container in the freezer and use for soup, add to spaghetti sauce, casseroles or veggie pie.
Over ripe tomatoes freeze well whole. Store in ziploc, run under hot water and the skins slip off. Great for soup, stews or sauces.
- Terri, Stony Plain
When potatoes get old, boil them then add flour, pinch of salt mix and roll them in to a form of longs sticks.
Cut them in little nail size square dots put them in freezing bags and freeze them! You have now made gnocchi!😋😃
- Maria , Toronto
Freeze bananas and then blend them with (dark) cocoa powder, freeze in a container for healthy ice cream. Sometimes, I’ll use fruit like strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, etc. as well.
- Sandi, Truro
We use a grocery list app and add things onto it as we run out or when planning on making a specific dish. We organize the lists by which grocery store we usually buy that product at. It works really well for us since we both have access to the same list and can cross off or delete items as you put them in the cart.
- Janie, Garson
Don’t have buttermilk? Because seriously, who ever has buttermilk? Just add a splash of lemon juice (or vinegar) to your milk!
- Stacey, Richmond
With too many bananas in your kitchen, you could make Bananas Foster (I don’t use an actual recipe so you should Google one). Or peel the bananas, cut in half across the middle (not lengthwise) and put the banana on a popsicle stick. Dip the banana partially into melted chocolate (milk, white, dark), any combination works too. Immediately after dipping in chocolate, dip the chocolate part into crushed nuts, or cereal. Place on a parchment covered cookie tray and freeze. When frozen, put the frozen pops in freezer container(s) and then serve on a hot day – very refreshing! (kids AND adults love them). If your bananas get too ripe and you don’t want to make banana cake or bread, you can split the skin a bit and hang them outside (summer only) for the birds and butterflies and bees.
- Christine, HRM
I freeze my bananas when they start to brown. Then I throw them in my blender with some almond milk, some frozen strawberries, a scoop of peanut butter, and some spinach. Blend it up and it tastes like a peanut butter and jam sandwich. So good!
- Alysha , Toronto
Add some potato. Potatoes absorb a lot of salt.
- Judith, Forest
Avoid letting food hide and go bad in your fridge. Maintain food type zones so you can always find what you’re looking for and know what food and leftovers are available. Four instance, leftover vegetables or starches, they are always on a shallow shelf, top left. Also, add fridge “drawers”using shallow trays that can easily be pulled out to see what’s in the back. They sell ones for this purpose in home stores and some have the ability to mark and erase labels. Maintain the first in first out principle with fresh produce. When you shop, first pull out the older items, then add new, and finally put the older ones back on top or in front of the new.
- Nibor, Victoria
On Friday’s I dive into my fridge and take stock of what’s left and needs to get used up before the next grocery shop. My favourite way to use these odds and ends is pizza, or a breakfast frittata on Saturday morning. Easy, delicious, and even better for leftovers.
- Amanda, Victoria
Whenever sausages go on sale or they get discounted near their best before date I buy as much as I can. Then I plot them up in Ziploc bags and freeze them. They are great in stews ,soups,pasta sauces,or on their own sauteed with peppers. Very versatile and always handy for a quick meal and always a flavourful addition. I usually go for hot or sweet Italian or chorizo.
- Tony, Beaconsfield
Rinse all herbs and salad greens in a big bowl of cold water with a tablespoon of vinegar. Drain and store as you regularly would. Lasts SO much longer in the fridge!
- Christi, Duncan
Never waste bananas. Lightly mash bananas add 2 tsp instant coffee Or preference amount. Mix. Portion out in individual dessert cups Freeze. Take out slightly prior to serving. Healthy and delicious Great summer treat
- Shelley, Winnipeg
I pre-cook my pasta all at once.
Follow package instructions. Once cooked, rinse and drain well. I measure the pasta into air-tight containers that hold two cups. I like using the tri-colour pasta, looks pretty in a bowl.
When in a rush, saves you time. It is not soggy, just take it from the freezer to thaw.
- Dorothy, Calgary
When your fruits & vegetables look a bit tired fill your sink with cold water add 1/4 cup white vinegar let it soak 15 minutes no need to rinse. Excellent results.
- Leah, Montreal
Lorsque je prépare des légumes pour les repas, je congèle les parties que je ne consomme pas comme les pelures d’oignons et de pommes de terre, les bouts de carottes ou de céleri et les feuilles de fenouil ou de carottes. Lorsque j’ai une bonne quantité, je les place dans un grand chaudron rempli d’eau et j’assaisonne le tout pour préparer un bouillon de légumes à partir duquel je peux ensuite faire une soupe. Je fais la même chose avec les carcasses de volaille pour obtenir de délicieux bouillons maison.
- Maxime, Montréal
When I am cutting vegetables, trimming ends off onions, celery or carrots, I toss them into a ziplock freezer bag that I keep in the freezer. Along to that I add bones from chicken. Once full, I turn everything into broth for soup.
- Celeste Allyn, St. Catharines
Savoury bread pudding aka strata aka spouse-saver.
Make cubes of whatever bread, buns, etc. you have. Sauté, steam whatever veggies are languishing in the fridge, or use leftover cooked veggies. Add herbs, spices, seasonings to your taste. If you want to add pieces of ham, bacon, sausage, smoked tofu, etc. Mix all together and put in a greased size-appropriate pan. Pour a mixture of beaten egg/milk (cream) over top. You should be able to see the liquid along the edges of the pan, but the ingredients should not be swimming. Let it sit for a few hours/overnight in the fridge so the bread can soak up the liquid. Then top with whatever cheese is around, and maybe sprinkle on some Panko for crunch. Bake it in the oven at 350F until set and cheese is melted and golden. How long will depend on the size of your strata. Always good whatever combo I’ve used.
- Carolyn, Victoria
I learned by trial that I can freeze feta cheese. I buy a 1kg container and cut it into 100g chunks. I save some brine to put a couple of chunks into each week. I use this for adding to salads and as pizza topping.
- Tricia, Cochrane
Buy 2 or 3 very small loaves of bread (some shops sell half loaves. Divide all your bread up into 4 slice piles. Keep the heels aside. Put each group of 4 into a separate freezer grade container (I use silicone bags, but ziplocks also work). Squeeze out the air as much as practical. Then put all the bags into a large container and put it into your freezer. As you need bread, get out one packet. Two slices for breakfast, 2 for a sandwich, or breakfast again the next day — you’ll never have stale bread.
The heels: keep all your bread heels in one bag in the freezer. When you have enough to make it worthwhile, you can run them through the food processor still frozen and put them back into the freeze for soft crumbs. Or you can dry them in the oven after you’ve cooked something in it, using up that ‘dying heat’. Then run them through the food processor for dry crumbs. Store in a glass jar. If you like, you can add seasoned salt to the dry crumbs.
- Caddie, Montreal
Use slightly stale bread in French toast or stuffing for turkey or chicken. Put bread in the freezer as it’s starting to get stale and save it to be used in these recipes at a later date.
- Heather , Hamilton
Not all perishable foods have the same staying power. Strawberries will decline sooner than apples; green beans sooner than cabbage. Commit to eating the more fragile foods first right at the time when you are buying them. I had a terrible time with green beans going moldy because I forgot about them. Now I only buy them if I am going to eat them the same night.
- Erin, Squamish
plan meals ahead so you plan your shopping for proper quantities. If you only need a few sprigs of parsley, share the rest with friends or coworkers. Think of alternative recipes to use up left over ingredients
- Brian, Vancouver
If you don’t need to use the whole can of tomato paste, spoon the leftovers into individual serving containers and freeze them. When you’re ready to use the leftovers, just pop it into your recipe and heat it up.’
- Sandra, Burnaby
I freeze leftover pizza sauce in an ice cube tray, then pop the cubes into an airtight bag or container once frozen. When I’m making pizza, I can take out exactly what I need – for me, it’s two cubes of sauce per pizza.
- Carol, Vancouver
C’est possible de cuisiner l’entièreté des fines herbes, surtout les tiges!/ Je nettoies les tiges de coriandre et je les mélange au robot culinaire avec de l’huile d’olive et des épices afin de me concocter une vinaigrette à salade très savoureuse.
- Maxine, Montréal
Je transporte toujours avec moi des contenants. Je suis donc toujours prête à ramasser les restants de traiteurs lors d’évènements ou des dîners de réunion à mon travail! J’obtiens un délicieux repas, sans avoir eu à cuisiner, sans dépenser et surtout sans gaspillage!
- Daphnée, Montréal
Mes enfants et mois adorons créer de nouveaux smoothies chaque semaine. Nous sortons du réfrigérateur les fruits et légumes moches ou fanés, et les mettons dans le mélangeur avec un peu de yogourt ou de beurre d’arachide. Un smoothie au déjeuner ou en collation, c’est toujours bon!
- Véronique, Montréal
1) Over-ripe fruit
2) Coconut water
3) Popsicle molds
1) Add any fruit that past its prime such as berries, peaches, watermelon to a blender
2) Add coconut water and blend
3) Pour mixture into popsicle molds and let freeze for at least 6 hours.
- Tamara, Toronto
Make sure to store ethylene gas producing produce separate from produce that is ethylene sensitive! Some fruits and veggies release ethylene gas as they ripen. Some fruits and veggies are ethylene sensitive which means being in close proximity to the gas can speed up their decay.
Ethylene Gas Producing Produce
Apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew, apples, bananas, tomatoes, avocados, peaches, pears, nectarines, plums, figs, kiwi,
Ethylene Sensitive Produce
Broccoli, cucumbers, eggplant, leafy greens, watermelon, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots cauliflower, garlic, green beans, peppers, sweet potatoes, strawberries, squash
- Marie-Helen, Toronto
Reduce food waste from your root vegetables with these yummy chips.
• Carrot peels (or other root vegetable peels like parsnip and beets)
• Olive or avocado oil
• (Optional) Powdered spices to taste such as curry, dill, garlic, ranch, even cinnamon.
1) Preheat oven to 400F
2) Add all peels to a mixing bowl
3) Drizzle oil over the peels and mix to cover all the peels with oil
4) Spread peels evenly over a baking sheet
5) Cook for 6 to 10 minutes, checking every couple minutes since they are very thin.
6) Eat as chips, add some dip or add as a side dish to a steak or on top of a burger
- Ashalea, Toronto
Simple recipe for an all-natural, no chemical cleaner that really works.
• Peels from citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit
• White vinegar
• Cinnamon sticks
• (Optional) Other herbs and spices such as cloves and rosemary
• (Optional) Lemon or orange essential oils
1) Fill a mason jar with all solid ingredients.
2) Add vinegar to the jar and fill just enough to cover the peels.
3) Firmly seal the jar and store in a cool, dark place for two weeks.
4) Once ready, add the solution to a spray bottle.
5) Add extra cinnamon and cloves, if needed.
- Ashalea, Toronto
Smoothies are a great way to do the same with overripe fruit.
• Handful of greens (spinach, kale etc.)
• Handful of not-so-ripe fruit (peaches, berries, etc.)
• 1 cup yogurt, milk or milk alternative
• 1 avocado or banana for creaminess
Blend until liquified, pour into a glass and enjoy.
- Marie-Helen, Toronto
• ½ cup finely ground dry coffee beans
• ½ cup sugar (white or brown)
• ½ cup coconut oil
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the above ingredients using a fork until well blended. Store in an air-tight container and use with water in the shower to exfoliate your skin!
- Marie-Helen, Toronto
We do an end-of-week cleanout to use up fresh foods before the next shop. What we typically end up with is a variety of dishes which look more like a buffet of appetizers which provides choices for everyone and can be supplemented with foods from the pantry or freezer.
- Wendy, Saanich
This tip comes from my Grandma. She would keep the foil wrapper from a stick of butter in the fridge, and save it to grease the dish or pan the next time she was baking.
- Jay, North Vancouver
I chop up veggies ahead of time, so my kids can grab them and have a snack straight from the fridge. More veggies in their tummies, and less in our green bin.
- Lucy, North Vancouver
Greens that are starting to wilt, like spinach, can be frozen. Use them in smoothies and sauces straight from the freezer.
- Larina, Coquitlam
We once ended up with 8 jars of nut butter in our cupboard! We kept buying more without knowing if we actually needed it. Luckily it lasts a long time and we were able to use it all, but it was a good reminder to check our fridge and cupboards and make a list before heading to the store.
- Bryan, Vancouver
Make green smoothies to use up produce that is past it’s best, like wilted spinach.
- Kris, Burnaby
Store leftovers in clear containers (e.g. glass) in your fridge. Being able to see what you have serves as a reminder to use them up.
- Carol, Vancouver