Minimizing Food Waste and Saving a Few Bucks

Ok, I admit it….I’m a “list-making” type of girl and at any given point in time I have at least 10 going on paper and 10 more in my head. I know, I know…with all of my lists you’d think I’d be a put-together, head on her shoulders, super-woman type of force to be reckoned with, right? HA! That’s so far from the truth it makes me laugh until there are tears in my eyes…perhaps I should make a list of reasons as to why I’m not that woman yet…but that’s for another day.

Now I don’t actually keep all of my lists for very long, as some are just meant to be temporary (and frankly some just get lost). In any case, once in a while I come up with a good list that actually sticks around and DOES help out in some way. Since we have been focusing on being less wasteful and also on cooking more intentionally (meal planning), I decided to put a list up on the fridge that could best be described as “hey, don’t forget about us!” for food. Basically what’s on this list are all of the foods that I need to use within the next few days, one way or another, and also of all the leftovers in the fridge. I’ve even gone as far to put down a few snack ideas (again, sneaking in the foods that need to get eaten soon), and I have to say, it has been VERY helpful. I love the list for 3 reasons:

  1. We don’t waste nearly as much food as before, as it reminds me what ingredients need to be used before they goes bad. Even if we don’t “feel” like eating it this week, I can at least make it into a dish that can be frozen and eaten later.
  2. It shows everyone what is “left over” from other meals as well as snack ideas, and once there are a few listed I just don’t bother cooking, woohoo!
  3. And my favorite reason…whenever hubby or the kids walk up to me and say “I’m hungry! What’s to eat?!?” I can kindly respond by saying “did you check the list yet?” SO much better then trying to come up with something off the top of my head (that they won’t object to) as I am juggling 3 other tasks.
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