Buy produce in large quantities and then prep it for the week, then save the ends for lots of uses:
I keep a freezer bag with the extra air squished out in the door of my freezer. Every time I chop off a carrot top or have stems left from fresh herbs or bones from a pork chop, I throw them in the bag. Then every week or two, I throw them in a pot, cover with water, maybe add a bouillon and I have fresh stock.
You can use shrimp shells, mushroom stems, and save time on cleaning onions by just chopping off the tops and bottoms since you know you'll be using them for stock later! In winter, I keep a few bags going with Asian seafood, meat/stew veggies, and vegetarian.
You can also reuse seeds. Scoop the seeds out of the cantaloupe and cover with water. Blend and strain for a Mexican "agua fresca". I also put the seeds in with less water than will quite cover, some herbs and vinegar and oil for salad dressing. The seeds are a natural thickener and the dressing turns out creamy and very healthy.
I also love juicing melon rinds. The little scraps we have left, I'm planning to compost. But I'll need to search around on Thrifty fun for some ideas of how to build a cheap composter first!
Source: My own ideas I think...well, cantaloupe seeds are used in traditional Mexican cooking but the dressing is my recipe.
By Erica from Dallas, TX