Tightwad Tuesday: Bumped and Bruised

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Heather says:

The next time you visit the grocery store explore the produce department. Somewhere in the vicinity you may find  a shopping cart, bin, or shelf marked damaged or reduced for quick sale. This is a goldmine for frugal shoppers. Crisp and fresh produce is a necessity for salads, but cooked vegetables needn’t be perfect. Pick the best of what is available and pocket the savings.

Freckled bananas are excellent for smoothies and baking. Mash and freeze bananas by the cup for for muffins and quick breads.

For a healthy side dish, peel root vegetables and cut out any bruised areas. Dice the vegetables, toss with olive oil and roast in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Roasted vegetables also make a great addition to soups and stews.

Celery and carrots going limp? Dice and sweat with onions and garlic for soups and stews or make fried or Spanish rice.

Experiment with different vegetables as pizza toppings. You may be surprised to find you like broccoli or zucchini on your ‘za.

Grate carrots, zucchini, or squash into tomato sauces for pasta or pizza. If you have small children or a picky spouse use your smallest grater and they may not notice to complain.

Tell me, Home Eccers, how do you use cheap but imperfect produce?

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15 thoughts on “Tightwad Tuesday: Bumped and Bruised”

  1. Last fall I bought a big bag of bell peppers on the reduced to sell shelf. I brought them home, washed and cut them up small and froze them on a tray. When they were frozen, I thew them in a ziplock bag.

    The frozen peppers have been great, and saved me so much money. I have been using the frozen peppers all winter in sauces and stir-fries. Delicious, nutritious, frugal and time saving!

    I think you could do the same with many tougher veggies that you will used cooked. I bet onions would work really really well!

  2. I take all the throw away stuff (carrot peelings, kale stems, etc.) and freeze it. Once a have a gallon freezer bag full, I make vegetable stock out of it. I then freeze this into smaller portions for later use.

  3. All our ‘beyond their best’ veggies get made into soup. I made an amazing soup the other week with the most unlikely of ingredients – carrots, mange tout and cauliflower were boiled with a handful of red lentils, pearl barley and oats with some herbs and seasoning in some stock. Everyone loved it although it sounds disgusting!

    Fruit gets blitzed into smoothies, as you wrote about bananas.

    Great post with some lovely suggestions – thank you!

  4. Andra, a tart sounds fab. I need to head out to Ambrose for our annual strawberry picking. It’s just about that time.

    Meredith to get ideas of what we can do at home, I stroll through the freezer department. I figure if they can sell it, I can copy it.

    Boogiemum, I haven’t made vegetable stock in ages and I need to get back in the habit. Thanks for the reminder.

    MrsGreen, we call it Mustgo soup. I have heard others call it garbage pail or trashcan soup. Thanks!

  5. Old citrus fruit, it turns out, is a great deterrent for felines in my flower guarden (the peels, anyway). I cut up the citrus fruit (juice and all) and throw it amongst the plants along the edge of my flower bed. That and a couple of plastic fork have kept my neighborhood kitties away! I can grab bags at the local store for quite, quite cheap once they are beyond the BEST BY date.

  6. You mentioned freezing bananas – I’ll go one step further and say that I don’t even peel them, I just put them in the freezer whole. When I want to turn them into muffins, I throw them in the microwave for a few seconds so I can peel them, and they practically mash themselves!

    Also, apples – throw them in the crockpot and make applesauce!

  7. Heather….you have NO IDEA how I have battled with the wild kitties in my neighborhood. Having a flower bed in Arizona is no small feat and I have spent HOURS on my bed since New Year’s Day. There is nothing worse than stepping outside and seeing a kitty squatting in your seedlings with a look on its face saying “Do you MIND?”. Ugh….

    So now I have citrus rinds (limes, grapefruits, oranges) mixed into the mulch and black sporks and forks sticking up all over the garden. Kitties have found someplace else to poop, thank you VERY much.

    (My husband picked on me relentlessly about my battle with the cats but I must say I have quite a snazzy flowerbed now!)

  8. Ladies,
    Thanks for all the great ideas!! I have never thought of doing anything like that! WOW, instead of me throwing the bananas i could of made some smoothies! That means I have to make them… hmmm think I’ll have hubby do that! LOL.. love the post and the great tips! CHEERS! 😀

  9. Unfortunately for us, most of our local grocery stores sell their marked down fruit, veggies and bread to the local homeless shelters. Good for them, bad for the rest of us. Occasionally I will find marked down bananas, but that’s about it.

    But they ARE good about marking down the meat and poultry. In fact, I scored some awesome deals on chicken today!

  10. Our store quit marking down the fruits and vegs. I asked why and was told they now use them in their banana bread, pizzas, ect. Same goes for meat. What a bummer. As the prices go up and up it would be nice to buy a mark down.

  11. Our Kroger sells the ripe-r bananas cheap. I freeze the bananas…whole…and put them in smoothies. In fact I freeze any fruit that is a little too ripe and then I don’t need ice. It keeps the smoothies fresh tasting and not watered down. (p.s. The bananas will turn dark in the freezer but they are fine.) Just place the banana in a bit of warmish water to defrost the peel. Also for banana breads just lay them out on a plate to defrost. Cut off one end and the banana will literally squeeze right out of the peel. Its a little messy but fun! 😉

  12. Yesterday when grocery shopping, I was buying the usual cabbages (2) which are chopped and cooked daily with other ingredients for our tribe of stray dogs, when I chatted to the man putting them on display. He was taking off the outer leaves, chopping some stems off to make them look nicer. I asked what he then does with the box of cut off bits, oh they are simply thrown away. I asked a supervisor and was given the entire box of cabbage leaves for free! Now trying to use the entire box in one week, so some for all the dogs and the perfectly good ones to be eaten by the family, beef stuffed cabbage roll, coleslaw (minus mayo) cabbage and ham bake. Now this should be a great money saving week for us.


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