Thursday, February 20, 2014

Does this give you a frugal thrill?

I wasn't going to post today, as I'm fighting the same cold my two daughters have had. But I had one of those oddball moments of frugal fun. Not even a moment, really. I'd say I was tickled for all of the dinner hour.

Do you get a frugal thrill when you find a bunch of leftovers and combine them into a tasty stew, or rinse a bunch of near-empty jars to add to the pot?

Last night, I did a little clean-out of the fridge and found a whole bunch of condiment jars, that in an ordinary household would have been deemed empty and disposed of. Not so, in our house. I save those jars to rinse and add to cooking. I used both sweet and dill pickle juice in a batch of baked beans. I rinsed out the jar of blackberry pancake syrup to add to the stewed mixed rhubarb and blackberries. And I rinsed the salsa jar to add to mashed potatoes and greens. Total number of jars used and cleaned out -- 4.

My fridge door looks presentable again, and dinner was seasoned nicely, with what may have been considered garbage in any other household. Yep, that gave me a frugal thrill.

How about you? Do you find particular fun in using the odd bits that others would consider material to be washed down the drain?

18 comments:

  1. Yep, I'd be happy about that, too!

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    1. Hi Carol,
      I'm glad I'm not alone in how happy this makes me!

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  2. I've definitely been getting a thrill this week from using up bits and pieces of fruit and veg in smoothies. It's great to get to the end of the week with no waste :)

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    1. Hi Liz,
      Oh definitely -- smoothies are so great for using up the "bits". Any leftover fruits, from fruit salads, or the occasional half banana left on the counter, just go into the freezer, until someone is ready for a smoothie

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  3. I try to scrape the pancake batter bowl as clean as possible to not waste ingredients but I can't claim to do the same thing with cookie dough bowls ... hmm, I wonder why ...

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    1. Hi Kris,
      oh I don't even try and pretend that I'm attempting to scrape a brownie bowl clean. I go ahead and leave a quarter of a cup or so of batter in the bottom of the bowl, just for me. In our house, when I say, "I think I'll make some brownies", that's code for I'm in the mood to eat brownie batter.

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  4. Definitely a good thing. I would have been thrilled too. Sounds like my chili from 2 weeks ago where I cleaned out my fridge and emptied it into the chili pot. Made me a very happy camper!

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    1. HI Belinda,
      Yum, chili would be a good dish to use up all those odds and ends!

      Delete
  5. Oh, me!!! I am thrilled by doing things like that too!

    My husband has to have chocolate syrup for his milk. Once he can no longer easily squeeze chocolate syrup into a glass, he considers it trash. I asked him to start saving the bottles and putting them back in the fridge door, when he deems them to be 'empty'. Then I have a glass of chocolate milk! I take the squeeze lid off of the bottle and pour milk into it, replace the lid and shake. Then, I pour the chocolatey milk in a glass, pour more milk into the bottle and shake once more. My husband is amazed that I can get a glass of good chocolate milk from doing this, but is not patient enough to do it himself. I get the frugal thrill from doing it. :)

    I do the same thing as you with condiment bottles. If I'm making my homemade sloppy joes and the ketchup or mustard bottles becomes 'empty' I always put a little water in the bottles, shake and then add it to the sloppy joe sauce. Same thing when I empty a jar of pasta sauce, I add water, shake and then it goes into the pasta.

    To me, there is no other option!

    Angie

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    1. Hi Angie,
      Isn't that funny how some people, even though they understand how much you can get from an "empty" bottle, just don't have the patience. Or maybe it's time. I tell my kids to just put the "empty" peanut butter jars in the fridge. In about 3 jars, I have enough for a sandwich. And I always feel as if I've done this great frugal thing!

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  6. We must be kindred spirits -- I LOVE when that happens. It's so incredibly productive. You get to clean out bits and pieces, clean up the fridge or counter a bit, create some new/unique tastes, save money and not waste things. If I was in your kitchen then, I'd give you a high five!

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    1. Hi Jayne,
      It is a productive feeling, isn't it?! Hi fives all around!!

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  7. I'm chuckling to myself again. I fear in my household, the condiments that actually get used tend to get their jars scraped clean with a spatula as I'm endeavoring to use up every last scrap... the others languish until they become science experiments!

    But... maybe you and some of the other readers can help me out on something. I LOVE black olives, but it always seems like such a shame to toss the liquid. Any ideas what I could do with it?

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    1. Hi Cat,
      soup stock. I love black olive juice added to homemade minestrone soup. I've also added black olive juice to marinara sauce, in place of additional salt.

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  8. Yep .. I do variations of the same. The "empty" salad dressing bottle was stashed back in the fridge door recently .. upside down. Collected enough for one more salad!

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    1. Hi DW,
      Don't you find that somewhat amazing, that a bottle that appeared to be empty actually had enough for another meal? None of us would throw away the last cookie in a package, or last slice of bread. If all you had to do was keep the bottle inverted, why wouldn't more people just do that?

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  9. Lili, I think I remember that your family sometimes comments about the interesting flavors that you add to dishes during clean-out-the-bottom-of-the-jar time. The clean outs this week seem like they were really good flavor choices. However, did you get any comments?

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    1. Hi live and learn,
      The rinsings from the blackberry syrup bottle went unnoticed entirely in the stewed fruit. I got an "oh, so that's what it is" with the pickle juices in the baked beans. But it was the potatoes and greens that everyone thought were amazing. I added the rinsings from the salsa jar to the mashed potatoes. I may add salsa to mashed potatoes and green "on purpose" next time.

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I'm so glad that you stopped by today. Please comment, and let me know what you're thinking.