Help me stop wasting food - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 03-15-2008, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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For some reason, there are things that we buy that end up going unused. I just threw away some meat that wasn't even opened, a tub of yogurt that was used once, and I've had to throw away a carton of milk that wasn't opened and expired and carrots that were opened that rotted. For all those who are cringing and shaking their heads at this stupidity, I know this is incredibly stupid and that it wastes money. That's why I need and want to stop. The only solutions I can come up with are to make more things myself, like bread and stuff, and prepare and freeze meat so it'll be easier to cook when I want to, but how do I go about doing these things? Does anyone have any more ideas?
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#2 of 5 Old 03-16-2008, 02:33 PM
 
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We do this when we aren't meal planning. Are you planning your meals and only buying things for what you plan to cook? For unopened meat you can just put it in the fridge. For milk if I need to use it up quickly I will have cereal for breakfasts or bake some things calling for it and freeze them. Yogurt you can use in baking as well or in anything that calls for sour cream (if it's plain!). Carrots go good in a lot of things, soup, roasts, just with some dip, or simply steamed on the side. These are simple things to use up so maybe you are just buying too much food? Could you try just planning for 3 days or so and go to the store more often buying less each time?

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#3 of 5 Old 03-18-2008, 08:53 AM
 
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I tend to buy meat in large packages, so the day I come home from the store, I repackage it into a size for our family, then freeze. I pull out just what I need on the da y I plan to cook it.

I find it helpful to actually look in the fridge and take an inventory every 2-3 days. You can then think, oh, those carrots are getting old, better cook them tonight. If you have a roast in the freezer, you pull it out and cook it the next day.

Quiche is a good "use-up" meal around here--leftover meat, veggies, milk, cheese, eggs. Lots of milk can also become mac and cheese. Either of those meals can be eaten that day or go into the freezer for another day.
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#4 of 5 Old 03-19-2008, 10:45 AM
 
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Sounds like you're probably thinking about what you'll eat that day, and then just going and buying the ingredients and making that. While you're shopping you pick up other stuff that "looks good" but you don't really have a plan to use. A few suggestions:

1. Meal plan. I struggle with this, I'm not very organized.

2. Alternatively, do a quick ice box/pantry inventory each day or every few days, see what you HAVE, and then plan that days food around that. If you are thinking of meals where you'll need ingredients that might end up wasted (ex: you'll buy a whole mess of celery to use 1 rib, and not eat the rest), see if you can skip that ingredient or substitute, or plan how to use up the remainder.

3. When you've got something that will go bad, come on here & ask for ideas! I do it all the time! You'll be surprised at what you come up with.
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#5 of 5 Old 03-27-2008, 01:38 PM
 
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A smoothie is a great place to use up leftover fruits, greens and yogurt. Also, I often just serve a salad with whatever leftover veggies I have from dinner (onion, red pepper, kale, leftover beans, etc).
Leftover grains (brown rice, quinoa, etc) are awesome reheated for breakfast with some fruit and nuts on top.
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