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DIY Eat – Waste Not Want Not

Frugal tips from a grandmother’s kitchen

By: Gayle Pruitt

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Photographs by Joe Grisham

My grandmother—we called her Mama—would always say “don’t throw those peelings away; we can use them.” She showed me how to keep vegetable peelings and cuttings to make stock and how to make soup from leftovers that I was about to throw away. When I would cut the fat off the meat before I cooked it, she would say, “Don’t throw the fat away; I’m going to use it.”

I have had many lean years in my life and have put Mama’s advice to practice, thankfully, so I always had enough food to make a healthy dinner for my family. Now that I cook for my dogs, some of my neighbours and their dogs, my brother who shows up for care packages, and for my son, I’m still glad Mama taught me to be frugal with food. Below are a few general tips that have kept my family and my dogs eating well throughout the years:

* When buying meat in bulk, divide meats into smaller meal-size portions as soon as you get home from shopping. Store what you will be cooking first in the refrigerator and freeze the rest.

* When peeling or preparing vegetables on the “Good Veggie List” for dogs, save all the peelings and cuttings like carrot peels, celery tops, bell pepper tops, squash ends, and so forth and freeze them. Pull them out when making bulk dog food or a broth for either a soup for the family or maybe a gelatin for the dogs.

* When cooking a chicken, turkey, or some other meat that has bones, save the carcasses and the bones and freeze them. Do the same with the meat drippings. Boil them to later to make a delicious healthy broth.

* When cutting fat from roasts, chicken, duck, or turkey, freeze the fat to render later. Rendered meat fat makes great flavoring for vegetables.

* Save squash and pumpkin seeds to either lightly roast for snacks or to use raw in bulk dog food.

* When juicing, save all the pulp for baking items such as high-fiber muffins, or for bulk dog food.

* If your family eats rice, quinoa, millet, or oats, cook up a large batch every two weeks and freeze in individual servings. That way all you have to do is defrost and add veggies and a protein.

These are just a few commonsense ideas, but they really help save time and money.



From Dog-Gone Good Cuisine by Gayle Pruitt; photographs by Joe Grisham. Copyright © 2014 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Griffin.


Last Updated:

By: Gayle Pruitt
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