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Avoid waste and Save money by Cooking Simple Meals using Excess Veggies

By Edited Oct 25, 2015 2 4

We all have to tighten the belt and watch not only our waistlines but our pockets as well. Therefore I want to show you how to avoid waste and save money by cooking simple meals using excess veggies.

As a nation we all waste too much food every week; in fact we should be ashamed of ourselves for wasting money and food that we throw away.

Tips to Reduce food wastage and save money

Here are a few simple things we can all do to reduce the food we throw away every week:

  • Make a shopping list and stick to it
  • Be organized and plan your meals before you shop; I am not organized but this would save you wastage
  • Buying food on Impulse because it is cheap is wasting money if you throw half in the bin.
  • Store all food in sealed containers in fridge so it keeps longer.
  • Look in your fridge and cook oldest food before it goes soft; do not buy food specials if you don't need it
  • Buy tinned food on special or in bulk; check expiry date.
  • Cook double quantities; eat one and freeze one for another night. This saves extra cooking time.
Progressive International Fruit and Vegetable Keeper and Onion Keeper Set
Amazon Price: $20.95 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 25, 2015)
This 2 piece set contains a Fruit and veggie keeper and 1 onion keeper. You can also use it to store any other veggies like carrots green beans and keeps them fresh for up to 2 weeks.
It also has adjustable vent to regulate the air flow. Both of these are dishwasher safe.

Simple meal recipes

Scrambled eggs with a difference

Use your normal basic recipe

Now try adding these items or variations

  • 1 small diced onion
  • Left over ham, chicken or pork
  • 4 spinach leaves and stems
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Little oil or butter


Sauté onions, add chopped spinach stems, then your meat of choice. Add your beaten eggs and pepper and salt, and stir continually. Just before it's cooked add chopped spinach leaves.

Tip: To make this for two people I use 5 beaten eggs, 1 cup milk, with a teaspoon of corn flour mixed in. (this makes it go further).

Variations: you can add anything at all that you have in your fridge that needs using up. Like Capsicum, bacon, mushrooms, carrot. That's the beauty of this type of meal. It can even be served on toast or similar.

Lodge L10SK3 Pre-Seasoned Skillet, 12-Inch
Amazon Price: $33.95 $20.75 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 25, 2015)
This would be great to even take camping or cooking in your kitchen. It is a heavy cast iron skillet and pre seasoned so no need to prepare it before use.
It comes with two easy to use handles as these are heavy. It is 12inches across and 2 inches deep.

Make four meals from one Chicken

As there are only two of us a large chick can go a long way and to prove this I made it do four meals.  Here is what I did.  Not in full detail as I think you all know how to add vegetables and spices.

Roast Chicken

First I cooked a Roast Chicken for tea. Which I used about a quarter of the chicken with roast vegetables and greens.

Chicken and Salad Sandwich

I made a chicken and Salad Sandwhich for lunch the next day using the flesh from the legs and wings. Then I added some lettuce, tomatoes, grated carrot and cheese. Or you could make this a toasted sandwhich with chicken and mayonaise for something different.

Chicken, Lemon and Ginger Stir fry

A stir fry is a great way to use up all your extra vegetables. I used most of the other half of the chicken breast and cut into pieces. Added oil to pan and Saute the onions, spinich and celery stalks. Added diced capscicum, carrot and other vegetables in the fridge and grated rind of lemon and fresh ginger. Add the pieces of chicken and 1/2 cup water and stir. You can thicken with cornflour if preferred.  Of course you can vary this by adding curry or spices of your choice.

Chicken Soup

Last but not least you can make this into a nice tasty soup by adding the chicken carcase which should still have a fair bit of flesh to your Pressure cooker or crock pot. Dice all the vegetables of your choice that need using up like; onions, carrots, celery, potatoes in fact anything at all and add spices to suit your taste.  Cook and serve.  Now instead of eating the rest the next day by now you will definitely want something other than chicken.  So cool and put into freezer bags.  Lay flat, release excess air and seal.

TIP:  When freezing any food make sure to flatten everything and remove excess air.  By flattening your food you will fit heaps more into your freezer. It will also take less time to defrost.  I have seen so many people who roll up the mince or pack sausages into thick little bundles and they take up so much more room because they dont fit in properly, wasting space.

Oster CKSTSKFM-1216R 12-Inch by 16-Inch Electric Skillet, Red
Amazon Price: $49.99 $41.33 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 25, 2015)
This can be used to cook virtually anything from a roast chicken to bacon and eggs or even a cake. It measures 12x16inches with a non stick cooking surface. It is dishwasher safe and nice shade of red. Handles are cool to the touch.

Chili and Beef stir fry

This is another great way to use up your veggies

  • Diced Chicken, steak, or meat of your choice
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 small carrots cut in thin strips or grated
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic or ginger depending on choice of beef or chicken
  • 1 diced capsicum
  • 2 sticks celery cut thin
  • Small button mushrooms
  • Small quantity of oil
  • Sweet chili sauce or diced chili


Sauté onions, remove into another dish. Brown diced meat or chicken with chili or garlic, place in dish with onion. Sauté the harder vegetables then add the softer ones, now toss in the meat and onions and continue to stir then serve.

Tip: Serve on rice or pasta to make it go further.

No we haven't forgotten the salads

Most people love a fresh salad, whether you are serving it with barbecued meat, fish or chicken.

Tips for buying and storing salads:

Tomatoes- look for the half ripe tomatoes. These will keep longer, although you still need a few ripe ones to use now. Do not store green tomatoes in the fridge as they won't ripen the same.

Cucumbers- Avoid buying ones that are yellowing. If possible buy the ones pre-wrapped in plastic these will keep longer, you can wrap your own to keep better. If you have an excess number of cucumbers instead of giving them away, slice them and put in jar, cover with vinegar and seal.

Lettuces- buy ones with solid heart. Watch out for ones overwatered which have brown marks inside. Store them in an airtight container or plastic bag. Each day cut a bit of the stork off so it doesn't soft and brown.

Celery- Cut the tops off celery (leaves) before storing in fridge. Remove inside leave too as these are first to deteriorate then store in sealed plastic bag.

Before making any salad always check your crisper and see which salads need to be used first. Also check them for any spoilage, and trim them before you lose the whole lettuce, cucumber, celery etc.

By eating fresh salads and vegetables you are encouraging a healthy way of living and reducing the waste of your vegetables you are saving money too.

Why not try growing your own fresh vegetables and save even more money

Cuisinart 726-38H Chef's Classic Stainless 14-Inch Stir-Fry Pan with Helper Handle and Glass Cover
Amazon Price: $100.00 $28.49 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 25, 2015)
These are great for cooking all those beautiful stir fries. This wok has a stay- cool handle and secure hold handle.

With a clear glass lid with loop handle and stainless steel rim. It is also dishwasher safe.


Jan 7, 2011 12:49pm
Great ideas eileen; adding more vegetables to meals is something I like to do. Thanks!
Jan 7, 2011 5:28pm
These are great ideas. I hate throwing out leftover vegetables ... and I love scrambled eggs. Thanks for the suggestions.
Jan 8, 2011 7:29pm
Great ideas! I like to freeze up bits of leftover veggies , and make a nice soup when I have enough!
Jan 11, 2011 3:41am
introspective, it sure saves on wastage

deborah, thanks for stopping by, yes scrambled eggs and excess vegies make a simple and easy meal.
Bayoulady, I try to make a double batch of a lot of my meals saves a lot of time and makes it easier. And like you say freezing is a good way to build up your backlog of meals.
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