One problem I have is that Ill make weekly menu and go buy the ingredients on Monday, trying to just grocery shop once a week to save money. (The husband is all about saving money.) Ill plan on making this thing on Monday, and this other thing on Tuesday, and that thing on Wednesday, etc. then when that particular day rolls around I don’t end up cooking whatever I had pre-planned out. (For various reasons; too busy to cook, don’t feel like eating that dish anymore, decide to go out for dinner, too tired to put up the effort to make a fancy dish..) So my whole weekly menu gets all outta whack. I end up not using some ingredients and then my fridge, freezer, and pantry is busting out at the seams. Or if the food is fresh (which most of mine is), I have to throw it away because its gone bad. How wasteful! I’ll tell my son to eat all of his food on his plate because there are children in 3rd world countries starving …but here I am… at the least, not using what food I have (and always just buying MORE); at the worst, throwing away what once was good food!
That’s my predicament….
I originally sat down at the computer to make out another week’s worth of groceries… but then realized how silly that is. I HATE wasting food! I pay money for good food, I hate when it sits for too long and then goes bad. Plus, I prob have enough things in my kitchen for weeks worth of meals. For this week, Im skipping my ritual Sunday night coupon and food list to blog!! Blog about my problem of being a wasteful person and how Im changing that. I will only be cooking things that I have on hand. The goal being to empty out my shelves; its ridic that we have all of this food at home and we just arnt eating it!
I have fruit coming out of my ears! Lots of apples, a pineapple, a bag of oranges, and a bag of grapes. What am I going to do with all this fruit?! Ill be making smoothies for breakfast every morning. I always try and pack fresh fruit in the son’s lunch box. And instead of snacking on pretzels or salsa n chips, Ill be snacking on fruit (which is better for you, anyways!!). I also have a bag of sweet potatoes, a bag of red ‘taters, bell peppers, mushrooms, salad mix, bags of frozen veggies and fruits, sketty sauce, canned tomatoes, bags of pasta, onions, canned and dry beans, taco stuff, frozen sweet potato’tots, and quinoa. And all that stuff is just off the top of my head! Im sure there are more things Im forgetting.
Ill be posting my recipes from this coming up week but I warn you, I might be making some very interesting dishes. 😉 Which sorta reminds me of the food network’s tv show, Chopped. The contestants get 4 or 5 crazy ingredients and are expected to make a meal out of them. If they can throw together an entrée in 30 mins using bluefish, papaya, ginger snaps, & beef jerky then I can certainly use what (normal) ingredients I already have to feed my family.
Food waste facts for the US:
- In households, 40% of food goes to waste
- The average American throws away over $40 in the form of 33 pounds of food each month
- If we wasted just 5% less food, it would be enough to feed 4 million Americans
- 20% less waste would feed 25 million people
- $90 billion is dedicated to producing food that never gets eaten
- We spend $750 million per year just to dispose food waste
- Our food waste takes up 34 million tons of landfill space
Easy ways we can help fix the food waste problem:
- Use what you already have. Pinterest and kraftfoods.com are my fav sites to use to help come up with dishes. Its easy! Just type what ingredients you have on hand and they spit out all different dishes you could cook.
- Donate. If you really dont think you are going to use such-and-such an ingredient you have in your kitchen, check the expiration date.. if its safe to use, donate it to your local food shelter.
- Make a weekly menu. And actually stick to it! 🙂 In addition, you should be mindful of the expiration dates so you can use the ingredients before they go bad.
- When you’re at restaurants order half size plates. You really dont need to be eating all that food anyways! Ask the server if you can order a half-sized meal at a reduced cost (Hey! Another way to save money and eat a little more healthy!!) If they cant give you half a portion, ask the server to box up half of your order before digging in. That way you can prevent yourself from over-eating & you get to take the rest home for another meal. But make sure you actually do eat the leftovers!
Its time to use my own advice, let Operation Waste Less Food commence…