I’m amazed at the number of blogs whose main topic is food waste. Maybe I’m completely out of it (my kids would agree…), but I had no idea this was such a problem. We never have food waste. If food is not eaten, I freeze it. We rarely even have food go bad to the point where I have to get rid of it. With some simple planning, eating at home, and utilizing your freezer and refrigerator, you can easily cut down on food waste. Want more tips? Read on, dear reader.
- Meal planning. Meal planning helps cut down on food waste by knowing what will be prepared for the next several nights. For example, if I purchase greens, I know I’m serving them soon so they don’t go bad.
- My kids eat leftovers for breakfast. Unless I put a big sign on on the leftovers that reads “Keep out” then it’s eaten, first thing in the morning. It doesn’t matter what it is, it’s going down! I’m not kidding about the sign on the dish. See above picture of hummus.
- I don’t buy boxed breakfast cereal for my kids. Cereals are mostly refined white flour and sugar and have no nutritional value. My kids actually prefer leftovers for breakfast. It’s easy for them to prepare on their own and they like good food.
- I plan for leftovers, so that someone isn’t cooking every evening. (See what my kids have cooked for dinner here.) Maybe it’s because we don’t go out to eat very often but our leftovers usually serve as a meal for the following night. (I do like to save the leftovers for nights when I’m doing the cooking, but that’s just my little secret.)
- There is a two night limit on a meal. If I make a large batch of soup and we eat it for dinner two nights in a row, then I freeze what’s left for another meal. Labeling the contents is a good idea here. Or, be surprised! We just had an excellent beef stew that was in the freezer with no label and I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Too bad I didn’t write down the recipe as I whipped it together…
- We make/pack our own lunches and snacks. My kids will pack leftover salads or pasta for their school lunches. My husband and I eat leftovers for our lunches, too. Packing lunches is an excellent way to save money and save your waist-line as well.
- Use your refrigerator strategically. If food is getting close to going bad, put it in your refrigerator. Bread, fruit, and avocados are good examples of food that can live a little longer by keeping them cold. If bananas are too brown, stick them in the freezer. When I have several brown, frozen bananas, I bake with them or put them in a smoothie.
- Feed the chickens! We have backyard chickens and they love our scraps. Unfortunately, our chickens don’t get many of our leftovers because of the reasons listed above. If any food gets dropped on the floor, it’s theirs.
Now, excuse me while I go eat my leftover beef stew for lunch.
Do you have a food waste problem? Do you toss out leftovers or do you eat them?
Go Gingham related links:
National Match-Up Day: A step-by-step on how to clean and organize your food storage containers!
Grocery shopping from the bulk bins and food storage containers
Reusing glass jars and how to get them ready for re-use
Frugal grocery shopping – without coupons!
Pantry basics for the home cook – what’s in my pantry
Refrigerator basics for the home cook – what’s in my refrigerator
New to cooking at home? Fear not!
Confessions of a leftover food lover – that would be me!