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Money-saving recipe maximizes any leftover vegetables you have sitting in your fridge

Instead of tossing those wilted greens, you can save money by making them into something delicious — here's how.

how to use old vegetables, like these, that have wilted in your fridge

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Have you ever wondered how to use up your old vegetables? You know, like that spinach you bought last week that you fully planned on using for … something? 

Yes, it's tempting to toss out the wilting produce staring you in the face every time you open the fridge, reminding you of your failure to cook anything green for another entire week – but hold on a sec.

Instead of tossing those ugly, but still edible, vegetables and spending more cash on a new batch (for another recipe you may or may not make), we have an easy solution in the form of a simple soup recipe, so you can save that money for yourself.

Besides saving some cash, using up leftovers has some big benefits for all of us. Take a second to think about where that food would go if you put it in the trash:

  1. Around 35% of the food produced in the U.S is never actually eaten. 

  2. An average American throws away 400 pounds of food that could be eaten each year. Each person! 

  3. Food decomposing in landfills has a really high impact on the environment because it releases carbon and methane, two powerful gases that contribute to the overheating of the planet.

  4. If we completely stopped wasting food, it would be like shutting down 42 coal plants. 

So instead of tossing those greens, you can help the planet by cooking them – let's go!

Whether it's spinach, collard greens, kale, any kind of beans, cooked rice, or just about any veggie, this easy recipe lets you use 'em all and feel better about your cooking and budgeting efforts. This scrappy soup idea comes from Carleigh Bodrug, known as @plantyou on Instagram.

You can find the full recipe on her website.

This recipe is so flexible. You can swap out nearly every ingredient. If you can toss into a pot some sort of beans, any type of rice, veggies of any kind (fresh or frozen), garlic or onions, and broth, then you're basically done!

So for example, you can swap the white beans for whatever beans you have in your pantry, and the same goes for the basmati rice and the kale. Go ahead and add brown rice and spinach, collards, or cabbage, and whatever veggies are sadly dying in the back of your fridge. Or start with the original recipe the first time and experiment later to see what works.

One more little note: It's not written in the recipe, probably because her new cookbook, Plant You, is full of oil-free recipes, but in the video Carleigh sautés the celery, carrots, and garlic in a little olive oil.

Enjoy your plant- and planet-saving soup, and follow @plantyou on Instagram for more great tips on how to use your old vegetables.

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