Originally Posted by Legless
Funny idea on the Pizza. For us, though, the problem isn't with people eating leftovers, it's that they never get served, and usually rot in the fridge while a newly-cooked meal is served.
Freezing doesn't help much, as leftovers in the freezer are generally ignored until we run out of room for newly purchased food, in which case we do a sweep, and throw a bunch out.
I think the largest challenge is the mindfulness of my SO - That being said, I'm still hoping someone can suggest a silver-bullet technique that can make it all clear and easy for them.
It''s a real bummer to go to work, earning my families food, and them come home and see so much of it needlessly thrown out.
First of all--unless you are in a group marriage, referring to your spouse in the plural to avoid saying "he" or "she" is just squirrely and weird.
Second--you're obviously going to be able to drum up more support and sympathy for your position that wasting food is a terrible thing on a frugality forum where quite a few people are commited to extreme frugality either out of choice or necessity, but you might also consider that your spouse also has a valid point of view--some degree of food waste is pretty typical of most households. Some of us on here may be living the Tightwad Gazette lifestyle and boiling every vegetable scrap and chicken bone into stock, but that's not typical and there's nothing to say that that's the only way to live or run a household. I just read something somewhere that said that most households end up wasting at least 25% of the food that they buy. Restaurants and businesses that deal in food assume that there is going to be a certain amount of food lost to preparation practices or spoilage or over or under estimating demand--it's hard to always be spot on about how much or something one needs to buy or prepare, and the nature of food is that it spoils. It does just happen. We can take steps to reduce that wastage, but it's hard to absolutely and completely eliminate it. Sometimes the leftovers migrate to the back of the fridge and don't get eaten, sometimes stuff comes up and we don't always manage to cook the defrosted chicken in time. Life happens, and people are in different places with regard to frugality and waste reduction. So if your spouse is shopping and preparing food and putting newly cooked fresh meals on the table every day and your food wastage is only 15%, maybe you should just count yourself as very fortunate and make sure you're taking those freezer leftovers to work every day and eating them.
Frankly, I don't like the tone you're using. You sound very harsh and critical. You're blaming your spouse and chalking the problem all squarely up to her/him in a way that seems very judgmental and superior. This isn't a loving, solution-oriented tone. If your spouse is putting in the effort to be cooking for you and the family on a frequent basis, seems to me that you should start out by showing some appreciation for the work that's already being done and helping more instead of criticizing. Why would it be "clever or funny" of a PP to suggest that maybe you should take over the task of food preparation? Is that so outrageous to expect that you might help out with that? Why--because you're earning the money for the household? News flash--that's exactly what single, working adult men and women do when they aren't lucky enough to have a partner at home who does that work (and it is a lot of work) for them and the household. Either that or they eat out all the time, which costs even more money. It sounds to me like what you're really after is to prove your point to your spouse and get to be right and control his/her behavior, rather than really correct the food wastage. You acknowledge that your spouse is overwhelmed, but you aren't displaying any real compassion for that. Even if you don't take over the job completely, you could help out with meal planning and shopping and preparation, checking the fridge or freezer for items that are going to go bad, and eating some of those freezer leftovers yourself instead of helping throw them out.
My DH would approach your situation this way: "Honey, I noticed that you took that package of chicken breasts out of the freezer yesterday but didn't get a chance to cook them yet. If you tell me what you were planning to do with them, if you want I can go ahead and cook them tonight while you [play with DD/give her a bath/get some time on the computer/go out for coffee] and then they won't spoil and we'll have dinner all ready for tomorrow."