This is my first attempt at "Works for me Wednesday," linking from "Rocks in My Dryer." I hope I do it right. If I don't, I hope people will forgive me for trying. I should probably get my husband to help me, but he has a life of his own and is busy.
My Wednesday Tip is how to get free bread crumbs (like for topping casseroles or mixing into meatloaf) and use up your bread crusts at the same time.
Rarely do we like to eat the crusts at the ends of a loaf of bread, so I used to find the two last pieces of bread, what my husband calls "endgates", wrapped up in a large, plastic bread bag, pushed aside to a corner somewhere while we started a new, fresh loaf of bread.
Often these crusts would get mold on them, and then I would throw them away. Sometimes I threw them away before they molded.
Then I discovered a quick and easy trick—I take the unloved crusts out of the bag and place them on a cookie sheet (I hope it is obvious that I do this before they start to get moldy). Then I store the cookie sheet on a rack in my oven until the bread is dry and crispy. You can keep adding to the cookie sheet as bread crusts become available. You may forget to remove this tray from the oven now and then when you are preheating to bake something, but no matter, it just speeds up the drying process.
When I have enough dry bread crusts to make it worthwhile, I pop them into a large ziplock bag and crush them with a mallet or a rolling pin (whichever is closest to the top of the drawer on that particular day).
From there I put them into my breadcrumb canister. If I have extra, I freeze them in a plastic container.
When I get too many, I stop and go back to throwing away the unwanted bread. When I run close to the end of my breadcrumb supply, I start up this system again. I never buy breadcrumbs.
It works for me.