Scrappy Ideas: Getting The Most Out of Your Shop 

There is a lot involved when it comes to meal planning. You write your grocery list, go to the store, decide what to make, begin to prep your ingredients, and start whipping up some delicious dishes. All this preparation leaves you with scraps and leftovers destined for the compost bin or garbage. One may start to think, “this is such a waste, can I use this part?”, and the answer is: YES, you can! Check out some of our tricks and tips to maximize the usage of certain fruits, vegetables, and other store-bought foods to stretch out your weekly Farm Boy hauls. 

Shopping List 

Mesh produce bag with veggies and fruits.
Vegetables in Mesh Produce Bag.
Weekly essentials 
  • Take inventory of what you currently have in your fridge and pantry.
  • Build a list of things you eat consistently. 
  • Choose a range of fruits and veggies with different ripening times to give you a variety of choices that can be enjoyed at their peak. 
  • Avoid impulse buys or getting too much of one thing to avoid spoilage.  

  • Plan out your weekly menu: dishes you enjoy, what fits into your schedule, timely favourites, and quick preparation foods.
  • Meal-prepping is a great idea that can save you time during the week.
  • Salads, yogurts, overnight oats, veggie sticks, and fruit are great choices for fresh eating that can be prepared for the entire week.
  • If you are making a big batch of food like lasagna, shepards pie, pizza, or stew, portion and freeze some away for easy meals that simply need heating-up.
  • Carrots, Peppers, and Onions in containers.
  • Rice dishes, Yogurt, and Oats in mason jars.
  • Meal prepped, rice, and veggies in container.
  • prepared salads


Herbs in glasses of water.
Slow Down Ripening (just a little bit)
  • Use a mesh produce bag for fruits and veggies. Certain types of produce release ethylene gas which promotes ripening and can speed up spoilage. Tomatoes, bananas, avocados, pears, and green onions all produce a good amount of ethylene. 
    • Some examples of ethylene-sensitive fruits and vegetables include apples, berries, peppers, and leafy greens.  
    • Keep the sensitive produce away from the gas producing veggies and fruits. 
Herbs and Greens in Water Trick
  • Herbs like cilantro, parsley, and dill can be stored inside your fridge like flowers in a vase – just grab a glass of water and put them in stem-down. This will help them last longer and remain crisp. 
    • You can do this with broccoli and asparagus too! 


Vegetable peels and scraps
  • A lot of veggie scraps can be used to make vegetable stock. Consider saving them and brew a nice stock for soups, sauces, and more!  
  • Celery leaves, carrot peels, potato skins, squash and zucchini ends, garlic, mushroom stems, and more are all excellent ingredients that still have much flavour to give. 
  • Make sure that your veggies are thoroughly washed and scrubbed before cooking. 
  • A cheese cloth or soup bag are great tools that help to keep the stock clean and clear of any unwanted bits. 

  • Any unused scraps can also go into your garden compost to enrich your soil and provide you with flavourful crops in the growing season. 
  • Though many foods can be composted, it is easiest to compost fresh produce and fruit scraps. Things like dairy products or cooked food often requires a more tedious process to compost properly.


Chicken casserole with carrots and peas.
Partially Used Veggies and Fruits 
  • Use them in salads, salsas, and slaws or turn them into sauces. 
    • Fruits can be turned into compotes or even pie filling. 
    • Tomatoes, carrots, and onions can be turned into pasta sauce!
  • Korean cold buckwheat noodles contain a lot of fresh ingredients and can help you turn a confusing mix of items into a dish of harmonious flavours. 
    • Use tomatoes, carrots, pears, onions, apples, and garlic with some vinegar, our Korean seasoning, sesame oil, and soy sauce to make noodle sauce.
      • Simply combine all the sauce ingredients in a blender until smooth.  
    • A quick recipe guide for Korean cold buckwheat noodles can be found here: Top 5 Vegetarian Eats.

Revitalizing the Food of Yesterday 
  • Sauces, Stir-fries, and Casseroles. 
    • You can turn virtually anything into a casserole. All you need is a sauce, a starch, and whatever else you decide to throw in! 
    • Stir-fries are the perfect vehicle for leftover ingredients and dishes from the night previous. For example, rotisserie chicken stir-fry with peppers, broccoli, and carrots with a little of our Stir Fry Cooking Sauce is an entrée that you can whip up in minutes!


Pickled and fermented veggies.
  • Whether it’s vegetables and fruits or leftover rotisserie chicken, the freezer is a great way to keep foods for longer.
    • Pre-portion veggies, herbs, garlic, and more for quick access and meal prep. Ice trays are especially useful to make flavoured stock or seasoning cubes.
  • Freezer bags are great space-savers and help keep extra produce from the store or garden for longer periods of time.
  • If you have leftover meats and bones, save them for broths and soups!

  • Many vegetables can be pickled with a combination of water, salt, seasonings, and vinegar.
    • The vinegar used must be a minimum of 5% acidity.
    • Follow what is called the 50/50 rule for your pickling juice. At most, 50% of your pickling juice should be water with the other 50% being vinegar. The amount of water should never exceed 50% while the amount of vinegar can always be more.
    • Always sterilize surfaces, utensils, and containers.
    • There are many methods, but two common ways to pickle are: Quick Pickling or Boiling.
    • Quick pickling involves simply combining your ingredients and refrigerating.
    • Boiling involves combining your ingredients, jarring, and boiling the jars in a hot water bath.
      • This process is similar to many preserved foods that use this type of jarring method – fruit preserves, tomato sauce, etc.

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