13 foods to reuse: don’t throw that out

Throwing food waste in the garbage, garbage disposal or down the sink can be a habit you don’t second-guess as you food prep. Before you throw that out, think about a second use for your food scraps, veggie stalks and peels.

Nature doesn’t make waste

Check out 13 foods commonly disposed of, and how you can give them new life.

New Use: SALAD

You walk up the produce aisle and see perfectly packaged bags of broccoli slaw. Sounds healthy and exotic, right? It’s just chopped up broccoli stalks. The exact same stalks we throw away or compost every time we eat the heads of broccoli.

Check out this Whole 30 broccoli slaw salad recipe by a friend and local dietician, Stacie Hassing.

New Use: CHIPS 

There’s a new brand making chips out of vegetable remnants, though I can’t think of the brand name at the moment. If you know it, please do comment below.

Make your own chips with leftover leaves, stalks, peels, roots and tops!

Food & Wine: How to Make No-Waste Veggie Chips
Food & Wine: How to Make No-Waste Veggie Chips


Did you know your eggshells contain calcium, among various other minerals? See my post Don’t throw that out: boiled egg water and eggshells to make calcium water and calcium powder.

Don’t Throw that Out: boiled egg water and eggshells

eggshell plant food
Native Gypsies


When you cook a chicken, don’t throw out that wish bone after you make your wish! Make bone broth.

Read more about the anti-aging and digestive benefits of bone broth, and instructions for how to make homemade bone broth on Feed the Temple’s Stock Up on Bone Broth post.

Feed the Temple's homemade bone broth
Feed the Temple’s homemade bone broth


Save lemon peels (or squeezed lemons with peel) and soak in vinegar to make a natural household cleaner. If I have any grime on my porcelain sinks or tub, I also like to rub squeezed lemons on them, let sit for 10 minutes, and then wipe clean.

Blogger One Good Thing by Jillee has an informative DIY article titled 10 homemade cleaners made by citrus peels for recipe ideas.

From our recent trip to Arizona. When life gives you lemons, use the whole lemon!

Speaking of peels, the peels of cucumbers, potatoes and bananas have endless new uses!


That little bit of avocado you can’t scoop off the avocado skin and seed? Scrape it off with your fingers, and rub it on your face for a 15 minute facial. Those healthy fats aren’t just good to eat!

What to do during those 15 minutes? Make guacamole, of course! Homemade guac is my go-to snack staple, but since I don’t take the time to measure, I’ll share A Southern Fairytale’s guacamole recipe.

A Southern Fairytale's guacamole recipe
A Southern Fairytale’s guacamole recipe


A lovely chestnut tree at our house drops chestnuts all over our yard, and we have bright orange Japanese lanterns that produce the tangiest little berries. What do you have in your yard?

Japanese Lanterns from my home: tasty decor (picture from my post: My little, old-fashioned DIY wedding)


Take the fruit and veggie pulp from the back of your juicer and add next time you make muffins, meatloaf and breads.


Feed your acid-loving plants nitrogen without chemicals by using leftover coffee grounds.

Backyard Boss - Coffee Grounds for Gardening
©Backyard Boss – Coffee Grounds for Gardening

Ever notice how perfume shops have you sniff coffee to neutralize the smell? Rub your hands with coffee grounds after handling garlic. Or make an air freshener for the bottom of a waste bin by putting the grounds in a tea bag or nylons.


Growing white or red onions, or picking them up from a CSA (with root to top included)? Save the green tops to use in soups, broths and about anything else you’d use green onions for.

Matt & dad planting onions
Matt & dad planting onions last Spring


Stale bread? Fresh breadcrumbs!


I can’t talk about reusing food scraps without mentioning compost. It’s simple, inexpensive and saves you money on fertilizer. Your garden will benefit from your food waste. Toss in your apple peels, fruit pits and eggshells into the compost. See Natural Living Ideas article, 35 Unexpected Things to Add to your Compost Pile for more unique ideas.


Save avocado seeds, pineapple tops and the seeds of popular produce in your home to grow more!

13 foods to reuse: don't throw that out (Native Gypsies)
13 foods to reuse: don’t throw that out (Native Gypsies)

Before you throw that out, think about what else you can use your food scraps for. Often, the new use is something you’re already spending money on. Find new uses while reducing your waste, saving money, and pat yourself on the back for your creativity.

We want your ideas! Share with the Native Gypsies community the clever ways you reduce food waste!





About Brooke

BrookeZiegler.com ↞ Farm girl with a gypsy heart. Life-long obsession for junking and all things vintage. Working on on being a wife & mama, our next travel adventure, enjoying the little moments, colorful salads and a healthy earth. ↠ Read About BrookeRead more posts by Brooke

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *