Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Saving pan drippings

Grandma Mama called these little bits of meat grease “drippings” and saved them.  I do too.  You find these floating on top of cold soups and stews, on the bottom of a pan after baking meat, or on a plate where you’ve drained fried food.

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I put all those little bits into a container in the freezer.  Even the tiniest bits are saved.

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When the container is full I wash the drippings to make clean lard for cooking.  It makes great biscuits by the way.

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But what about these?  These are the paper towels used to drain fried chicken, french fries, or other fried food. I don’t own a deep fryer so I do it the old way.  I thought it was a terrible waste to toss out those dripping filled papers.  I started saving those too.

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I kept them in the freezer along with butter wrappers.

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How do I use them?  Do you know how a cake recipe or bread recipe says to generously grease the pan?  Well these are perfect for that.  When I need to grease a pan I’ll use them.  I also use these for coating my cast iron pans after washing to prevent rust.  I never put away cast iron without it.

Then one day it occurred to me there was a better way to drain fried foods than on paper towels and there would be a lot less loss of the drippings.  I use this fine mesh strainer.  I get to save more for washing.

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I don’t know why I hadn’t posted this frugal hint before.  It should have been written about the same time I wrote instructions for washing the drippings.  You can find that post here.   Washing pan drippings.


3 comments on “Saving pan drippings

    October 30, 2015

    When saving the meat juices or drippings, rinse them out with about 1/4 cup water or wine(!) after scrapping the bits off the pan’s bottom. That would add extra flavor before you use them in cooking…

  2. sarasinart
    October 29, 2015

    You do come up with the neatest ideas!

    • Na Na
      October 30, 2015

      Thank you Sarasin, its the greasy equivalent of rinsing out bottles. 😉

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