Great ways to re-use food scraps in the kitchen and garden

Fruit peel can come in very handy. Source: Pixabay.

We all try and do our bit for the environment through recycling, but what if you could reduce your food waste too?

Those annoying leftovers that aren’t quite enough to make another meal, or are the byproduct of cooking, can have a second life on your dinner table and even in the garden.

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind.

Use fruit peels to infuse water or liquor

Fruit peel has many uses, but at its most basic it’s perfect for spicing up water or even liquor.

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Keep hold of your lemon or orange peels (washed, of course), and add them to your glass of water or alcohol to give it a fruity taste.

Use bread to remove stains

Leftover break is a surprisingly good cleaning implement.

If your light-coloured walls are showing some smudges, remove the crusts from a piece of stale white bread, then roll it into a ball. Dampen the spot on your wall with a cloth, then rub the bread ball over the mark to erase it.

Bread is also a handy help for picking up shattered glass – once you’ve picked up the biggest pieces, slide a slice of bread over the spot where you think tiny shards may have landed. They’ll stick into the bread rather than your foot!

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Crush eggshells for your garden

Instead of throwing away your eggshells, feed your garden with them instead.

Grind them up in a blender or processor, before mixing them in to your potting soil or sprinkling directly on to your garden.

They add much-needed calcium to your soil which could aid growth.

Keep citrus peel to stop brown sugar hardening

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You may be familiar with the annoying moment you reach for your trusty brown sugar while baking, only to find it’s dried out and created thick clumps in the packet that are tricky to sift.

By adding a thick piece of citrus peel to the airtight bag or container, it can help keep the sugar moist and easier to use for longer.

It’s important to keep it in the fridge, though, to ensure the peel doesn’t rot.

Get rid of garbage smells

Simply throwing some used fruit peels into your garbage can ward off any nasty odours and help keep that area of the kitchen smelling fresh.

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Doing the same with garbage disposal is handy too if you have one – just put down some fruit peels whenever it’s getting a bit whiffy.

Use cucumber peels to deter pests

Whether you like to peel your cucumber or not, there are some excellent uses for the peel and leftover slices around the home.

While they’re unlikely to stop a major pest invasion, placing peel and slices around small holes in the walls or on windowsills can help prevent ants, moths, mites, wasps and silverfish from coming inside.

It’s important to replace them regularly, however, as rotting peel would just attract more pests – having the opposite effect.

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Use leftover coffee grounds as a deodoriser

Used coffee grounds have plenty of uses.

Rather than smelling garlic and onions on your hands and chopping board for days, just rub your palms and fingers as well as the board with coffee grounds before washing them away, and enjoy the effect of a natural deodoriser.

Have you tried any of these tricks? Did you have any luck?