I suppose I am lucky that I've always got a loaf "on the go". I make my own bread and if a loaf doesn't turn out so well then it is sacrificed to the altar of thrift. When life gives you a bread disaster, you make breadcrumbs!
Breadcrumbs make great kitchen staple. They are an excellent filling for various vegetables from mushrooms to tomatoes and courgettes and they are an excellent topping for any baked dish such as macaroni cheese. Breadcrumbs are also useful for making meatballs such as the classic Spanish tapas, albondigas and in vegetarian dishes such as Glamorgan Sausages.
I think they are absolutely delicious in one of my favourite frugal but tasty meals of pasta with olive oil and garlic. They also get a role in classic retro recipes as a crisp crumb coating for meat, such as Chicken Schnitzel or Chicken Kiev. They make great salads such as panzanella and a brilliant savoury bread pudding to accompany a winter roast.
I make crumbs by drying the bread out in a very low oven (about an hour at 150 C / Gas Mark 2. Turn slices so both sides dry evenly. Then I blitz these chunks in a food processor. The dried breadcrumbs are then stored in an airtight container and last about 3 months. You can also store them in the fridge or a freezer.
Where recipes call for fresh breadcrumbs rather than dried ones, then I soak my dried crumbs in a little milk or water, or use their dryness to soak up any liquid in things that I am making that are too damp. Recently I made courgette fritters and while I had squeezed out a lot of the water from the courgettes, they were still a little damp. A generous tablespoon of dried breadcrumbs soon sorted that out!