MoFo #26: budget tricks – veggie broth & what to do with leftover tomato paste

After being a student for 9 years I am pretty sure I will forever be a cheapskate. I hate when a recipe calls for 1-2 tbsp of tomato paste but then the rest of the can goes to waste in the fridge. Here is a perfect solution for that: freeze it! You can spoon the rest of the can into lumps on a sheet of wax paper and pop it in the freezer:

Once frozen solid, place the lumps into a baggie or a container and then you have tablespoon-sized lumps to throw into a recipe when needed (and you don’t need to open up a new can).

Another trick, which is pretty popular it seems, is to freeze your veggie scraps and make your own broth. Whenever I am chopping veggies, I just throw the scraps into a bag I keep in my freezer. When it’s full, I make a batch of broth. I’m not very picky about which veggies I use. I’ve used onion, potato peel, carrot, celery, broccoli stalks, etc. I’ve read to avoid using any greens in your broth though, as they can make it bitter. As you can see, we eat a lot of onions in this house.

Just place your frozen veggie scraps in a pot with water and simmer for awhile. If I’m just puttering around the house I let mine go for a couple of hours.

When you are done simmering, strain the broth into a bowl and discard the scraps.

And you are left with a nice, sodium-free broth. If I’m going to use the broth in the next while, I put it in a glass jar in the fridge. Otherwise I freeze it for later use.

What are your favourite money-saving tips?

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12 thoughts on “MoFo #26: budget tricks – veggie broth & what to do with leftover tomato paste

  1. Katie Gibbs says:

    I’ve been meaning to make my own broth from scraps for ages but just never get around to it. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. I freeze my tomato paste and then I forget about it so I end up opening another can. LOL!

    Our freezer is really full so we cook our broth down till it’s really concentrated and then I freeze the concentrate in ice cube trays. Home made broth is great!

  3. Mel says:

    That tomato paste trick is fantastic! I’m pretty good with not wasting food but sometimes I forget about opened tomato paste in the fridge. It makes me really sad when I see mould growing on it so I will definitely try out your trick. 😀

  4. Christine says:

    I freeze tomato paste in small containers, but never thought to measure it out into 1 to 2 Tbsp units before freezing. I finally saw tomato paste in a squeeze tube at the grocery store, so I bought that to avoid having the small containers in the freezer.

  5. love the idea of making a veggie broth. the tomato paste problem I normally just go around by buying it in a tube 😉

  6. Sarah says:

    I freeze the tomato paste – but in a large container. This seems like a better solution. I used to always make my own stock in this manner – but stopped for some reason.

  7. I really need to get on the freezing tomato paste train. I always open a can then leave it in the fridge until it’s fuzzy!

  8. Jen Hnatko says:

    Of course!! I’m always cursing at the moldy container of tomato paste that I throw away two weeks after making a soup or sauce. Thanks for this knock in the head! 🙂

  9. This is a brilliant idea, thanks! I always just use ketchup because I hate opening a whole tin and having it go to waste!

  10. […] I’ve gotten in the habit of just using ketchup if it’s for such a small quantity, but Vegan for the Win shared a great tip about freezing it in 1 tbsp chunks. Genius! There’s also a great tip […]

  11. That’s such a great idea about the tomato paste! My freezer is full of all kinds of frozen things like pulp cubes, bananas, seitan, and beans, but it had never occurred to me that I could freeze tablespoons of tomato paste. Like you, I often only need a tablespoon, but by the time I come back to it in the jar, it can’t be salvaged. Thanks for the tip!

  12. Mo says:

    I’m so mad at myself for never freezing tomato paste like this!

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