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Monday, March 16, 2015

This and that: what might have ended up in the garbage . . .

Things I salvaged this week

Some paper doilies from one of the church teas. They were used once, each, under plates of cookies. About to be tossed out, I quickly snatched them to take home, knowing I could use them again. I'll be using one of the larger doilies under my daughters' birthday cake next week.

The plastic outer wrap from a 20-roll pack of bath tissue. Fits our kitchen step-can perfectly, as a liner. I also use the large plastic bags that the 25 lbs of dried beans and 12.5 lbs of popping corn come packaged in, for liners.

The tail end of a loaf of sourdough that just didn't turn out well and became hard as a rock. It still tasted good, but was far too chewy to really enjoy. After slicing thin, I cut the slices into strips, then dices, and ran through the food processor. It still didn't become small crumbs, but more like barley-sized lumps. I added these bread lumps to a batch of chili at the last minute, and declared them a "meat substitute", as they kept that chew-texture for the first few minutes of eating the chili.

The scrapings from another pan of homemade cornbread. I can get one or two tablespoons of crumbs from each batch of cornbread. I scrape them into a container for the freezer, then when I have a half cup or so, add them to any recipe calling for bread crumbs. These were added, along with the rest of the freezer container-full, to a batch of bean burgers.

How about you? Did you snatch something up, just before it got tossed, this week?



  1. I love what you do! Makes me smile every time, because you are an inspiration to look different to garbage. I would never have thought of saving those doilies or putting the scrapings in the freezer. I am going to make a bag for scrapings too. I think that is fantastic. Last week someone gave me a large bag of shelled walnuts, a large bag of apples and Brussels sprouts.Yesterday I cut all the apples and put them in a light honey-cinnamon syrup and canned them in 1 liter jars. I got 15 jars out of the almost-thrown-away apples. Ok, I have been peeling and cutting for almost 5 hours and then I still had to can them. Total cost of 1 jar is approx 15 euro cent. Not bad for food that was about to thrown away. Tonight I will be cleaning the sprouts and make Brussels sprouts kraut. Never done that but it will be nice to try. I am not sure what to do with the walnuts. They are all from someones backyard so I think they will keep for a while.

    1. Hi greenpioneerwoman,
      Thank you! I find all that you do to be an inspiration, as well! I don't think I know anyone else who cans as much as you do!

      Those canned apples sound so delicious. They will be a real treat this spring. I've yet to try making sauerkraut. Maybe I'll give it a try this year. Good luck on your Brussels sprout kraut. I bet it will be wonderful!

  2. Oh dear, that sounds strange 'to look different to garbage'. Not sure how to put it more polity or differently. Lily, I hope you'll understand :S

  3. Lily,
    Again, you are me! I (and hubby) save all of our bags. Kitty litter scoopings are used for a lot of small bags, garbage liners and fresh produce in the fridge if the bags are clean enough.

    Old bread and bread ends gets processed into crumbs and tucked into the freezer for meatloaf and as a coating for chicken! That was yesterday's meal. We don't eat chicken skin when we roast chicken so I pull that off and then I make a mix of bread crumbs, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and sprinkle that over the chicken before roasting. After baking this we can eat the delicious seasoning without eating the skin. We had a cauliflower from the discount produce rack and there was nothing wrong with them. I made a mayonnaise/mustard sauce for on top of it with grated cheese and paprika and it was the star of the dinner! Compliments from all the kids and all the parents saying it was the most beautiful platter! What others put in the trash become jewels in our home! Lily, I also love what you do and must compliment you on being a "waste-manager".


    1. Ditto greenpioneerwoman and what you do. I am following your footsteps. I have not thought about saving bread crumbs before because I didn't have the idea to save small amounts in the freezer until a sizeable amount is collected.. We bake our own bread and cornbread, and waste a lot of crumbs slicing, They sell packaged bread crumbs called panko. I was quite happy saving money by not buying those packages and slicing frozen bread slices super thin but now even that seems extravagant lol

      I examine what I throw away very carefully too. I like discussing a topic few would bother to mention. I save recyclable grocery bags and turn them into plarn to make things. I've been busy making tote bags from plarn. In a few months (July) stores will be banned from using plastic recyclable bags so I have been collecting them with diligence for over two years...imagine my stash. My room sometimes look like a garbage dump. I try to keep it manageable but I also keep other too good to throwaway rubbish like containers and worn clothing. I make tee shirt yarns and will use it instead of buying yarns although I'm a thrift store collector of unusual looking yarns. I'm practicing crochet designs with the plants and tee shirt yarn and saving my good stash for the day I'm ready to begin making "art".


    2. Oops not plants but plarn...typing one finger on kindle fire.


    3. Hi Alice,
      Isn't it awesome to find all these people who live so similarly to ourselves? If I mention some of these little things I do, to some of my face to face friends, I get the strangest looks.

      That cauliflower-cheese casserole you made is making me very hungry! It sounds delicious!

    4. Hi YHF,
      Yes, we're facing the same plastic bag ban in our area, as well. Two of the communities where I shop have already banned them. And the wholesaler doesn't use any bags at all, but instead offers boxes if I need for the smaller items. So, I'm saving every last plastic bag that comes my way, knowing there will be fewer in the future. But in the end, I think doing away with all this plastic wrappings is a good thing. It creates so much garbage in the landfills. Ill just have to get used to washing out my kitchen waste-bin, when I'm out of plastic bags.

      What you're crocheting sounds interesting! And a great use for old tee shirts, I'd think.

    5. For a couple of years now we have to pay a nickle for every grocery bag we get. Of course, we use cloth bags, but still need bags to scoop cat litter into. Our friends, who live in other counties save them for us to use. And with four cats, we go through a lot.

      T-shirt yarn? I'll have to look into that.

    6. Hi live and learn,
      some of our stores used to offer a 5 cents credit if you brought your own bag. But they've discontinued that, unfortunately.

    7. Hi live and learn,
      Just google T-shirt yarn and there are lots of pictures and videos on doing this recyclable activity. I find it easiest to just tear the T-shirt in strips. It's always a bit tricky to start, since the grain in knitted fabric is not like wovens. But I make a snip in the direction I think the tear will likely happen, and see if it tears straight. If so then I continue with even width strips. To join, I just make a snips on either end of the strip and pass thru the end of one of the strips through the snipped hole, and pass through the end of no. 2 strip through it's own snipped hole, creating a knot. I don't bother machine stitching the joined ends unless I intend to work with very large widths. Crafters make rugs, I've made a simple floor mat with just single crochet using about 4 tshirts. Figured the mat will last a lot longer than the tshirt rags by itself. My next project is making market bags. I feel good making useful things from garbage lol


  4. Lili
    I do exactly as you do: repurposing plastic bags for trash liners, saving crumbs for the bread crumb container, etc. This afternoon, I salvaged a bin of organic baby salad greens that were going prematurely-second time, recentlyboth purchased at ALdi's. Hmm . . I washed each leaf, composting some in the process. I made a nice salad out of the rest. I also made a new dressing out of this n that. See my blog for specifics
    Carol in CT

    1. Great job on salvaging what you could from the salad greens, Carol! Most folks would have tossed them. I'll check out what you used in your salad dressing. Many of my dressings begin that way, just whatever I have on hand.

  5. We use cloth bags for shopping and like others here are creative in finding bags in our day to day life. The smaller bags are used for "wet" garbage I sometimes generate in cooking, besides for my dogs business.
    I actually remember a time before plastic and I am in my 50's. I remember my mother who would wrap wet garbage in newspaper and then put it in our paper garbage bags in the garbage can.
    I had a summer job once where I worked and brought home large green garbage bags. She had never paid for a garbage bag in her life and reused and recycled those bags creatively. She would have thought it ludicrous to pay for something you would throw out.

    1. Hi Teresa,
      My parents always used the paper grocery sacks for kitchen garbage, as well. I can't remember what my mom did with "wet" garbage, though. The way you put it, really puts using plastic in perspective -- "she would have it ludicrous to pay for something you would throw out"!

  6. I doubt I'll ever need to buy liners for my kitchen waste can.
    I get spent coffee grounds from Starbucks. They double bag them in trash can liners. After dumping the grounds in the compost. I have two bags to use. One has coffee ground residue in it. I don't mind the aroma of coffee in my kitchen the other is clean and can be stored for future use. As a frugal spinster I generate less than one tall kitchen can of garbage a month so my supply of bags will last a long time. I've made use of other large bags too like you did with the TP packaging.

    1. Good for you, Linda! That reminds me, I should stop in a Starbucks, soon and get some used coffee grounds for the garden. And I'll be using whatever bags they put them in (some of our Starbucks do the "silver bullets"). Thanks for the reminder!


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