$0 Overnight Crock Pot Vegetable Stock Life Hack

$0 Overnight Crock Pot Vegetable Stock Life Hack

It’s true that not many things in life are free, but eating a diet full of delicious vegetables does give you access to free crock pot vegetable stock. Oh and I forget to mention, it will be hands down the most incredible vegetable stock you’ve ever tasted in your life (and therefore the best $2 and 40 Minute Vegetable Soup you’ve ever tasted!). Why? Because not only it is made from your favorite vegetables, it’s served with the good feeling of knowing you did something to help combat food waste today.

Crock Pot Vegetable Stock Recipe

$0 Overnight Crock Pot Vegetable Stock

Make free vegetable stock with the ends of vegetables that you used to throw away!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Storage Time10 mins
Total Time8 hrs
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegetable stock
Servings: 10 1-cup servings
Calories: 10kcal
Author: apartmentchefnick


  • Gallon-sized freezer bag
  • Crock Pot
  • Soup Spoon
  • ~8" fine mesh strainer or similar (check out Apartment Chef Tools for recommendations)
  • Plastic storage containers


  • Vegetable scraps (Celery leaves, carrot tops, onion and zucchini ends)
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Any other spices you want!


  • Over time, fill up the gallon-sized bag with vegetable scraps. Store the bag in the freezer in between cooking sessions.
  • Fill up your crock pot about 75% full of frozen vegetable scraps, add bay leaves, spices and salt, then fill to the top with water.
  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 5-6 hours.
  • Push down on vegetables with the back of the spoon to extract all possible flavor.
  • Discard large scraps that can be easily removed. Pour remaining small vegetable scraps and broth through the fine mesh strainer into plastic containers. Discard the rest of the scraps.
  • Enjoy within a couple days or store in the freezer until needed!


Step 2 – This is what my frozen vegetables look like before adding water and turning on the crock pot:

Frozen Vegetables in Crock pot vegetable stock

Step 4 – I’m serious, we’re getting the most out of these veggies.

Step 6 – I recommend storing the broth in roughly 2-cup increments so you don’t have to measure it once you’re ready to use it. You can just grab what you need and go.


  • Vegetable scraps ~ negligible
  • 3-4 Bay leaves ~ negligible
  • 1 tsp of whole black peppercorns ~ negligible

Total Cost entire crock pot of vegetable stock ~ $0!


At my grocery store, organic vegetable stock costs at least $2. On its own, this $2 savings does not seem like a lot but let’s say you make soup or rice and anything requiring vegetable broth 10 times per year. That’s $20 right there – that’s enough to purchase your own domain name for the next year! By making small tweaks to what you buy and how you shop, these small saving start to add up. A couple dollars here and there can easily add up to $50+ per month. That’s over $600 per year. I don’t know about you, but there are a couple trips I could definitely spend that money on! For more cost savings tips be sure to check out my Meal Prep Tips post!

As always, make informed food decisions. Know your ingredients, know your costs!

Time to get thinking about your next homemade soup!

Potato Cauliflower Soup made from crock pot vegetable stock
One of the many soups that you can make with your stock!

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