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Save money with fish heads and potato scraps

We all like to moan and complain about how there is not enough money in our budgets at the end of the month. Well, here is a simple step that could save a family of four $1,500 a year: Stop wasting food. It sounds flippant, but it is not. About 40 percent of the food America produces goes to waste. Separate out households from commercial entities like restaurants, and around 20 percent of what we purchase at the supermarket eventually finds its way into the trash bin, estimates Dana Gunders, senior scientist at the National Resources Defense Council and author of the new book "Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook."It is not a minor expense: The USDA estimates that food waste amounts to around 2 million calories a year for a family of four, costing roughly $1,500, which is over $100 a month for the family, or $375 per person annually."Nobody wakes up in the morning wanting to waste food, but it happens in little bits and pieces," says Gunders. "We are so price-sensitive in the store, but when we get home and eventually throw out a quarter of the cheese we just bought, we don't realize that's another $1.50."Reducing food waste takes planning and discipline. The book by Gunders gives 85 tips for reducing waste in various food items. Some of these this site Shop deliberately, from a list, for just a couple of meals ahead of time. Otherwise your eyes will be bigger than your stomach, and much of what you buy will end up in the trash. -- Use up leftovers by making catch-all dishes like soups, stir-frys, fried rice, frittatas and risottos. -- Stale bread? Make menus involving croutons, French toast, or bread pudding.-- Learn to store food properly. For instance, lettuce usually lasts longer in the crisper, while apples, mushrooms and peppers need more aeration and do better outside those drawers.-- Do not get freaked out by expiration dates, Gunders advises. These are just a manufacturer's best guess about peak freshness. Use your judgment; do not throw away food just because of a number on a carton. For more pointers on maximizing food budgets, we talked to a few high-end chefs. In the restaurant world with its razor-thin margins, if you do not utilize every possible scrap of food in your kitchen, you are out of business.

* Fish headsMost consumers toss them, but Marjorie Meek-Bradley, executive chef of Washington, D. C.'s Ripple, and a contestant on "Top Chef," likes to debone the head and make lettuce wraps with the meat.* Carrot topsAlong with the leafy tops of other root vegetables, says Meek-Bradley, they make the foundation of an excellent pesto sauce.

* Potato scrapsDon't get rid of them, say Bruce and Eric Bromberg of Blue Ribbon Restaurants. They are ideal for making potato pancakes.* Kale stemsThe natural instinct is to toss them, but they make crispy, healthy, kale fries, say the Brombergs.* Citrus juice

If you have some left over, it makes an ideal kitchen cleaner, says John Johnson of Four Seasons New York. It is biodegradable, non-toxic, and degreases like nothing else.* Bones"I always use leftover chicken or turkey bones to make soup," says Troy Guard, chef of Denver-based TAG Restaurant Group.* Plant scraps. Tomato insides, carrot peels, day-old brown rice, mushroom stems? You have got yourself a tasty veggie burger, says Guard. Or, if you have some wildflowers or leftover herb cuttings from your garden, they can provide delicious flavoring for jars of honey, says David Wardynski of Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort.* Protein trimmingsObviously not every scrap of meat will make it onto a nicely plated steak, chicken breast or pork chop. But Guard says those extra trimmings can easily go into enchiladas, tacos, or on top of homemade pizzas.

Trlpc springer raises extra 700 mln euro loan for macmillan merger

Feb 27 German publisher Springer Science+Business Media is raising an extra 700 million euros ($786.31 million) of leveraged loans to back its merger with nature publisher Macmillan Science and Education, banking sources said on Friday. Germany's Holtzbrinck, which owns Macmillan Science and Education and publishes Nature and Scientific American magazines, will combine most of its business with BC Partners' Springer unit, which publishes scientific, technical and medical books and journals. The merger is being backed with a new incremental loan denominated in euros and dollars that will be added to Springer's existing loans, the sources said.

The new loan includes a 600 million euro-equivalent term loan and a 100 million euro revolving credit facility. Pricing on the term loan is expected to be in line with Springer's existing term loans which pay 375 basis points (bp), with a 1 percent Libor/Euribor floor, sources said.

Libor floors guarantee minimum returns for investors. Goldman Sachs is leading the euro tranche and JP Morgan is leading the dollar tranche. The financing will be launched to investors at a bank meeting on March 3 in London and commitments are due on March 17.

The arranging banks will also ask Springer's existing loan investors to approve a waiver allowing change of control to avoid triggering a debt repayment. Holtzbrinck will own 53 percent of the joint company and BC Partners will own 47 percent. The enlarged group will have 1.5 billion euros in annual sales and 13,000 employees. BC Partners bought Springer Science in 2013 for 3.3 billion euros, backed with 2.6 billion euros of loans, some of which were repriced on more attractive terms a year later, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data. ($1 = 0.8902 euros)