Before I begin, I must let you know that most of not all of these tips are about food and/or the kitchen! That’s where I have focused my energies in our adventures in frugality.
That being said, let’s dive in to Part 2!
Part 2: Vegetable Stock
Photo by Alyson McPhee
Do you enjoy smelling a big pot of stock simmering on the stove as much as I do? Because I really really like it. The smell is comforting and I know that when it’s done, it can be used in a variety of different meals. Make a yummy soup, or simply cook your pasta in it for extra nutrition.
This post is specifically about vegetable stock. This post is specifically about making vegetable stock FOR FREE. Sounds exciting right? Here’s how you do it:
You will need a gallon sized plastic bag.
And to make this for free, you do have to buy your normal vegetables that you usually buy for meals anyway. So if you never buy vegetables…this won’t be free.
Here’s what I do: say I’m cooking a Mexican dish and I have an onion and a bell pepper. I cut off the ends of the onion and peel the outside off, but I don’t throw it away. I keep the peel and the ends and put it in the bag. Same with the top of the bell pepper where the stem is.
I do this with garlic ends and skin, carrot ends, celery ends and leaves, broccoli stems, mushroom stems, pumpkin guts (technical term?), you name it! I store these all in the bag in the freezer, add to it until I have enough and I’m ready to make some stock. I don’t keep any bad pieces obviously, and I may even keep two different bags with different types of vegetables that go well together in a stock. I’ll always go through my refrigerator before making veggie stock (or broth), and see if there are a few carrots or whatever that I know I’m not going to use in time and don’t want them to go bad. Throw them in! SUPER EASY.
As we all know, vegetables have a lot of important nutrients, and are very good for our bodies. Why not make a big pot of stock to add flavor and nourishment to your food? I only used to make chicken or beef stock, but I’ve been very surprised at how good vegetable broth is.
By the way, broth and stock are different by the times they take in the old stock pot. Stock is cooked 24+ hours and your veggies will basically be mush, but every ounce of goodness will be left in your liquid. Broth is lighter and can be made in only a few hours.
So there’s Tip #2. Instead of buying broth/stock at the store, make it yourself for basically free.