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Genius ways to save money using citrus peels

Have you ever juiced a whole bunch of oranges or lemons and then been left wondering what to do with the peels. As a mother whose family loves oranges and lemons, this is a regular occurrence at home!

There are simple ways that you can rid of the peels like putting them in your compost bin, or putting them in the waste disposal (Insinkerator) unit and forgetting about them. But what if you don’t have either a compost bin or waste disposal unit?

Well, here are some things that I do with the peels that not only make life easier but also help you save some money in the family budget.

Use peels to make your bench cleaner

Amber spray bottle with black trigger spray labelled all-purpose cleaner

Instead of spending money on the fancy multi-purpose bench cleaners available from the supermarket, where you have a large list of ingredients formulated to break down dirt and deposits while smelling nice, why don't you make your bench cleaner?

It's very easy to do and means that you can control the ingredients if you happen to have any sensitivity that you need to factor in when purchasing your cleaning products instead. Not only that, but you can make multiple batches of bench cleaner from one jar of orange peels vs having to buy refills from the supermarket whenever you run out.

All you need is a 1quart jar and fill it with the peels, top up with white vinegar and infuse in a dark place for a couple of weeks. At first, the vinegar smell is quite strong, but that gradually turns into the most beautiful citrus fragrance cleaner ever! Once you have let it sit for a little while (about 2 weeks), dilute with water at a 1:4 ratio into a spray bottle and add a couple of tablespoons of washing soda. That's it - a simple, effective homemade all-purpose cleaner that is antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal with grease-cutting, cleaning power!

Potential savings: $4.99 per bottle

Make Vitamin C Powder

Citrus peels contain very high amounts of vitamin c - 1 tablespoon of orange peel, powdered is enough to provide 14% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C. Not only that but orange peels contain decent doses of provitamin A, folate, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin B6, and calcium as well*.

This is another incredibly easy way to up your intake of Vitamin C as well as other vitamins and minerals. Simply take your leftover peels, separate the pith (a white membrane that occasionally sticks to the peel), and lay both the pith and peel separately on a baking tray. You can then leave them to dry on the tray in a warm, well-circulated, sunny place at room temperature for two to three days; alternatively, you can bake them at a 200 degree Fahrenheit (93 degrees C) oven for 25-30 minutes. Leave it to cool completely and then crush using a mortar and pestle or grind to a powder in a coffee grinder.

You can then use this powder to make infused oils, add to smoothies or baking for flavor, or even add to salt and herbs to sprinkle over a nice filet of fish before cooking.

Potential savings: $18.99 per container

Make your own cordial

More and more people every day are starting to learn to look at ingredients lists and avoid artificial colors and additives when shopping for cordials.

Instead of worrying about what a particular number on the back of a package or bottle means, why don't you make your own cordial. This is as easy as creating a simple syrup infusion that you bottle and use as cordial. All you need to make your cordial concentrate at home is a candy thermometer, 2 cups of sugar, 1 quart (1 Litre) of water, and your leftover peels (sliced into a manageable size.)

Simply pour the sugar and water into a large saucepan, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add your leftover peels and bring them to a slow boil. Once they have reached boiling point, lower the heat to a simmer and simmer without stirring until the mixture starts to thicken and color seeps from the peels. If using a candy thermometer, you want to achieve a temperature of 110 degrees Celsius or 230 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once you have achieved this temperature, remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully strain the syrup into a lipped jug for ease of transfer. Pour into a sterilized bottle and leave to cool completely before use.

Note: if you want your concentrate to last longer in the cupboard, you can add 2-3tsps of citric acid which acts as a preservative. This will impact the flavor of your syrup and makes it sourer, so if you are going to do this, ensure that you add the same amount of sugar to your 2cups. You can also spread the peels out on a tray to dry once you've boiled them. Once they are fully dry, you end up with the bonus of candied peels

Potential savings: $6.30 for 710 MLS cordial

* $2.99 additional if you dry the peels out to make candied peels too

Why go to the effort of making your products?

Going the extra mile and making your products at home helps settle the family, especially if you have neurodivergent needs in your family. Diet and environment play a big part in getting through each day without ADHD hyperactivity, sensory overload, or stomach upsets. By taking control of what's going on in your environment and the microbiome in your stomachs, you can easily pinpoint if there are any physical reactions to anything. All this combined with the bonus of more money left in your budget each month - I don't know about you but that creates a compelling argument for me!


Citrus peels contain antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and insecticidal properties so why not harness that power for the good of your family? By reusing the "wrapping paper of nature", you can harness that power too to help raise the immunity in the family home.

Simply by using the three suggested options above, you can save approx 40 dollars per month if your family goes through a lot of cordial. I don't know about you, but my boys can easily go through a bottle of cordial a week if I don't rein them in! This may seem like a small amount but it can add up to significant savings in your bank account (up to $480 per year).

I would love to hear other ways that you live more simply without excess additives, so comment below and let me know if you have any other ideas of how to deal with excess peels in your home.

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