Be resourceful! This is one of my favorite sayings in regards to saving money and time. I say it so often my kids will probably have it carved on my headstone.

In our family of eight I try to be resourceful in managing our home and especially our food. Feeding so many people every day and trying to keep our house standing takes a lot of time and energy. There are so many little ways I have come up with over the years that help. None of them are life changing or save bundles of money but all together they start to add up.

Line Drying

Here is one example. This week our dryer went out. Of course it was on Monday, our big laundry day. I was able to quickly get a clothesline up between our convenient trees and hang our laundry to dry.

Recently we were talking about putting up a clothesline but hadn’t planned to do it so soon. While it’s extra work, I’m glad to be able to get our laundry done and it’s been nice to save some electricity. With the cost of power going up, this will make a difference.

Scrap Broth

As I cook throughout the week I put onion skins, carrot ends, and celery pieces in a bag that I keep in the freezer. When I’m ready to make broth, whether it’s from a fresh chicken or the bones of a roasted chicken I toss in vegetable scraps and turn that into a delicious healthy broth.

Vegetable Rich Sauces

I’m sure meat prices are climbing in your area just like they are in mine. We eat meat four to five times a week. Since I’m cooking such large quantities, the meat needs to stretch as far as possible.

Thankfully my crew loves vegetables with the odd exception of one who hates mushrooms, another who is grossed out by winter squash, and a kid who loves raw onions but not cooked (go figure!). This means I can add lots of vegetables into sauces and soups.

These were finely diced and added to a pound of ground beef for a pasta sauce. One trick I’ve found is to cook the vegetables either in olive oil or with the meat until they are starting to brown and almost melt. When you add the tomatoes, or broth, or whatever else you are adding for the sauce or soup they will add richness without being distinct chunks of vegetables.

Be Resourceful!

I hope you try some of these simple ideas and start looking around to see what you can do in your home. We all have different situations and what works for me may not be practical for you or a good use of your time. However all of us can find simple ways to save time, cut back on waste and energy, and reduce the amount of food we throw out.

By the way, the photo at the top is applesauce I made with the dregs of apples from the grocery store. You know those last few apples in the bag that get overlooked and start to go soft and wrinkly. Stash them in the back of your produce drawer until you have enough for a batch of applesauce.

It couldn’t be simpler! Just peel and core them, put them in a saucepan with enough water to keep them from burning and simmer until they break apart. I mashed them with a potato masher for a more rustic texture then stirred in a few tablespoons of butter and a pinch of spice. It’s a perfect fall snack that uses up food that might otherwise go in the compost. Resourceful!