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Five Frugal Things, Fridge Clean-Out Edition

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The other day, I did a fridge organization/clean-out, and so I have a bunch of food-waste-avoidant stuff to share with you.

1. I froze grapes and mango

We had three almost-finished bags of grapes in the fridge. And you know that no one usually bothers to eat the last few grapes in a bag.

(Or is that just at my house??)

So, I sorted thru them, composted the really bad ones, and cut the wrinkly ends off the salvageable ones.

After a rinse, I threw them into the freezer for smoothie usage.

I put the ones that were still good for eating into a bowl on the counter, and they were gone before the end of the day.

(Which is always what happens when I put produce out. Good to remember!)

While I was at it, I cut up a mango that was pretty squishy and froze it for smoothies too.

Oh, and I froze the last of a bag of spinach.   So handy to be able to do that, and the frozen stuff works just as well in smoothies as the fresh spinach does.

2. I made pudding with slightly sour milk.

The milk wasn’t bad with a capital B, but I didn’t really want to use it on cereal. So I made a batch of this from-scratch chocolate pudding.

3. I cut up and washed some lettuce.

There were a few bad leaves on the outside, so I peeled those off and then cut up and washed the rest.

One step closer to an easy salad!

(I use that Oxo salad spinner ALL THE TIME. I got it years ago on a Cook’s Illustrated recommendation, and I’m super happy with it.)

4. I made carrot bread.

I have an abundance of carrots at the moment, and I discovered that a few of them had some bad spots. I cut around those, peeled them, and made a loaf of carrot bread.

I used this recipe from The Kitchn, but I didn’t make the glaze and I didn’t add nuts.   And I also used less sugar than called for.

This uses 2.5 cups of carrots in just one loaf, which is pretty fabulous.

I’m thinking I’ll also make some of these fabulous roasted carrots so I can use mine up.

Luckily, carrots keep really well, so I’m not in a huge rush.

5. I used up eggs and milk by making Pfannekuchen.

After the pudding, I still had some milk left to use up.   And I happen to have a wealth of eggs from a local friend who has chickens.

So I made some pfannekuchen for the girls for dinner.

I didn’t have apples, so I thawed some peaches (from my freezer stash due to my bruised peach purchases this summer!) and used those instead.

So. Now my fridge is nice and organized, and I don’t think I have anything in there that’s on the brink of going bad.   Yay!

Your turn!   Share your own Five Frugal Things in the comments.

(They can be food-waste related or not. Up to you.)


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Tuesday 3rd of October 2017

..I should add that the curry paste will stain the icecube tray hence I keep that one for curry pastes only.


Tuesday 3rd of October 2017

Great idea re the grapes, I also really like the look of the carrot bread I will try that. I cook for one or two which is challenging for some ingredients. One tip I have picked up is to peel a piece of ginger by scraping with a metal teaspoon (the peel comes off really easily), finely chop and then make a tray of teaspoon measure blobs and put in the freezer, when frozen you can put them into a container to freeze, I have used mine in stirfries, salad dressings, fried rice and others. I also have a tupperware ice-cube tray with lid dedicated to korma curry paste. Each slot holds 1 tbsp of paste (Australian measurement) and the rubber bottom makes it easy to pop one or two out when needed, no more sad curry paste going off in the fridge.

Rachel R.

Monday 2nd of October 2017

1. We had breakfast for dinner on the meal plan this week. Easy & cheap!

2. I printed some things off at the library, using the free 5 prints/day this library gives us. But I also paid an overdue fine while there. You win some, you lose some.

3. Bought bulk meat & brown rice during good sale.

4. Paid more than I usually do ($36) for a higher quality pair of jeans that I think/hope I'll get longer wear out of. Inspired by your recent post!

5. Made delicious smelling sugar scrub from ingredients at home (coconut oil, white sugar, vanilla extract, orange essential oil). My toddler helped & it was sweet to share the process with her. But the she was stung at the park right after. Definitely a high/low day.


Monday 2nd of October 2017

Breakfast for dinner is the BEST. So cheap, so easy, so yummy.


Monday 2nd of October 2017

Nice pudding save on the milk!

Mine are mostly food related, too:

1. Bought ridiculously cheap pork country ribs, froze half, and used the other half in a crockpot recipe for which I had everything, including leftover salsa verde. However, salsa was muy caliente, husband was coughing and tearing up so we "brothed" it down and added beans, etc. Will further adjust for rest of the the week with all manner of bland additions. Still pretty cheap and tasty.

2. Eating breakfasts in and bringing lunches to work (usually salad leftovers) and (delicious) ginormous honey crisp apples from the markdown section.

3. Cleaned out the freezer -- sadly threw away last of the vintage mixed veggies, purchased back in the day, and some fancy pants tortillas that just didn't sniff right. But -- made room for pork and chicken bought very very cheaply as well as some discounted frozen meals for the 2 of us when time is short.

4. Have been under-buying groceries to avoid the dreaded waste (thank you, Kristin and everyone!) It is working!! Frugal fail -- 1/2 watermelon (so unlike me) and a couple strawberries gone bad. Keeping to lists and the occasional great deal which cannot be ignored.

5. Tonight is reduced price stirfry kit with very cheap chicken breast and some additional red pepper and onion (Aldis). Eat up the last of the grapes (love the suggestion to freeze them) and the half of mango I almost tossed before I realized it was a squishy, golden, toothsome treasure.

6. Wearing same old clothes and shoes, reading library books,


Monday 2nd of October 2017

* Got 2 Halloween costumes for the kids at the thrift store. 5$ for both. * Saved about 500$ on pest control services (?). We have mice in the attic. A family member came to fix it (that is is line of work) for free. Gave him homemade salsa, apple sauce and a (regifted) bottle of wine as a thank you. * Meeting up with a girlfriend tommorow. Will go for a walk and talk. Free+exercice = win-win! * Got myself a SAD therapy lamp. While it's not cheap at 215$ it sure beats therapy and medication! Winters are brutal where I live, I need the light. * I don't eat between meals and I don't eat sweets/deserts. Saves money, better health, slow weight loss, all positive results!

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