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Budgeting expert shares simple tip to keep grocery bills down: 'Food waste is money waste'

"The goal is to save money on groceries."

"The goal is to save money on groceries."

Photo Credit: Instagram

A grocery run can easily give you sticker shock these days, but there's a simple way to keep more "bread" in your pocket.

Instagrammer Gina Zakaria (@savingwhiz), who shares grocery hacks and budgeting tips, shows viewers how to make their own breadcrumbs in just a few steps.

The scoop

If you have stale bread or kids who don't like bread crust, you don't have to let it go to waste. Cut the crust off the bread, place it in a food processor, blend it into fine crumbs, and then pour it onto a baking sheet. 

"In my PB&J video, I had a lot of comments saying I was wasting bread. Here's what I do with those bread ends: I make breadcrumbs. I pop them in a 200-degree oven, let them dry out, and then I let them sit out overnight to get really dry," Gina says in the video.

After letting the breadcrumbs dry, she transfers them to a sheet of parchment paper and pours them into a mason jar for easy storage. 

"Food waste is money waste, and the goal is to save money on groceries," she wrote in the caption.

Pro-tip: add seasoning, spices, or parmesan cheese to the breadcrumbs and make croutons or stuffing.

How it's helping

While breadcrumbs won't break the bank if you buy them occasionally, it adds up if you're on a budget. Plus, store-bought brands may have unhealthy additives and ingredients you can avoid by making your own. It's also one less aisle to go down at the store.

Reusing stale bread or bread crusts also reduces food waste, which is a global issue. In America alone, 80 million tons of food — equal to 149 billion meals — ends up in landfills each year, according to Feeding America

When food decomposes in landfills, it releases a potent gas called methane, which has 80 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide during its first 20 years in the atmosphere. 

Not to mention, producing and transporting food that can end up as trash consumes precious resources and accounts for 11% of the world's pollution from heat-producing gases. 

Gina's grocery hack allows you to save money, time, and the planet and have delicious breadcrumbs for days. 

What everyone's saying

Everyone loved the creative penny-pinching idea and shared a few other breadcrumb hacks. 

"I also have to cut off the crusts for my kids' sandwiches in the morning; I pop the crusts in the air fryer for a few mins, and the kids love their 'stick toasties' as snacks on the way to school," someone shared. 

"I make my own 'bread' crumbs by buying a generic brand box of cornflakes and pulsing them in a processor! Works so well," added another user. 

"Me too, but I add parsley, crushed garlic, and parmesan cheese to coat chicken and flattened steak," another commented.

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