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S/O cleaning your fridge - do you waste a lot of food?


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I know I do. I get so upset with my kids when they don't finish stuff on their plates, but the truth is, I waste a lot more than they do bc either I buy something thinking that I'll use it in a recipe. Or....bc I don't like grocery shopping, I buy too much, hoping not to go for awhile. So, for many other reasons.

Just typing this makes my heart hurt. My grandmother lost both of her parents to starvation during WWII, so being hungry is not something I just read in books about.

Anyway, every year I promise to do better, but haven't yet 😞

If you are good about not wasting food, what's your secret?

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I grew up with a mom and grandmother who lived through famine in Germany after WW2; throwing out food was a sin.

I just make sure to use up what perishables I have before buying new stuff. Leftovers are reheated the next meal or the next day. I think of ways to use the odds and ends. Veggies past their prime become soup or frittata, asparagus ends and wilted celery get frozen and used to make stock.

What's your biggest obstacle to not wasting food? Leftovers going bad, or veggies forgotten in the fridge?

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I definitely thought about this today while I was cleaning out. I do waste more than I wish I did. When I do better with lower waste, it’s because I am planning meals and they are pretty simple. Like, if I stick to a pretty simple menu for the week, I don’t end up with a bunch of miscellaneous ingredients. Another thing that helps is if it is more like a one-pot meal thing. (Which, btw, dh does not prefer this; he likes the farm-style meals he grew up with and all the separate sides.) It is much better and generates less waste if it is more one-pot meal because otherwise, there are a bunch of odds and ends that nobody is ever going to eat, like for lunch. If we have leftovers of soup, casseroles, pizza, tacos, etc., those do get eaten up for lunch. 

 

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I’m not terrible about it, but I can most certainly be better.  We don’t tend to throw away big amounts of food, but it’s those little odds and ends.  Like, if there is 1/4 serving of carrots left over, we always intend to add them to another meal, but then forget.  Or if there is one slice of pizza left from an entire pizza, we will forget to eat that.  

We end up tossing things that aren’t satisfying eaten alone (not big enough, like 1/4 serving of carrots) and also don’t go with other things (like who wants to eat carrots and pizza in one meal?)

I’ve been thinking that I need to just bite the bullet...or the carrots...and just eat bizarre lunches every few days that are the odds and ends that no one else wants to eat.  Here’s to pizza, carrots, and leftover egg drop soup for my lunch tomorrow!  

Edited by Garga
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I also don't meal plan in the sense of thinking of dishes beforehand and then buying ingredients,  which will invariably leave unused stuff. I meal plan by looking into my fridge and pantry and coming up with dishes that use what I have,  and making sure to use the most perishable ingredients first.

Edited by regentrude
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I wasted a lot of food when I had a CSA.  It was just too much that was too unfamiliar, and while it was interesting, realistically I was not about to cook sober heavy greens all the time when no one would eat them.  (The CSA also shut down for the holiday seasons, so just when I need to cook the most, it wouldn't be there.  Exactly wrong for me, unfortunately.)

Now I don't waste much, but I don't feel as bad about wasting some, because it means that I'm cooking more at home, which is healthier and less expensive than eating out or take out.  I do try to use fresh veggies in fragile to hardy order, but sometimes I overbuy.  It is better, I figure, than running out.  So there you go.  

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I waste a lot less now than I did pre-Covid.  We now have an inventory of what is in our freezer and keep up with it.  We are not eating out or gettng take-out anymore so I plan meals for the week now to make sure we have what we need.  I do curbside pick-up twice a week - usually Mondays and Thursdays.

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18 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I grew up with a mom and grandmother who lived through famine in Germany after WW2; throwing out food was a sin.

I just make sure to use up what perishables I have before buying new stuff. Leftovers are reheated the next meal or the next day. I think of ways to use the odds and ends. Veggies past their prime become soup or frittata, asparagus ends and wilted celery get frozen and used to make stock.

What's your biggest obstacle to not wasting food? Leftovers going bad, or veggies forgotten in the fridge?

I think it's both, but mostly veggies

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This is something I have changed my thinking about.  I'm not a vegan but one thing I did learn from Dr Fuhrman is that you cannot eat fresh food without some of it going bad.  In the days when people in this country were starving to death, when everything was canned or otherwise preserved, wasting food was a sin.  But these days we care more about nutrition and fresh food because we aren't as concerned about survival.  That's a sign of progress.

There have been times in my life when I didn't have the budget for wasted food, and then I bought a lot of frozen fruits and vegetables. I bought what I needed for meal plans only. I more or less stuck to them, but if something went wrong and we grabbed takeout it didn't matter, it would last in the freezer another day.

But now it doesn't matter that I threw out two bags of Kale and a whole bag of baby carrots yesterday. It was maybe $6 worth of produce. I probably wouldn't have chosen something with such close expiration dates if I'd gone into the store to choose them myself, but we use grocery pickup and the cost of not getting exposed is worth it. My kids eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.  There's always a wide variety so they can choose what they crave. If something gets the flavor that it's about to go off and tosses it, that's okay.  I'd rather they have an abundance of choices than not, even at the expense of wasted food.

Also, except for my budget, it's not as if it wouldn't be wasted if I hadn't purchased it.  The store would throw it out instead of me, but it would still be wasted.

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My husband does. He buys perishable things on sale that only he is willing to eat because the rest of us didn’t like the new food item. If he buys tried and tested things on sale, they would all be eaten up.

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I waste very little food these days.  I've gotten a lot better at that during this pandemic!  We eat leftovers for lunch, or if it's enough for a nice meal -- even just for one person, I'll often freeze it.  Then we'll have an assortment of one-person dinners some night when I don't feel like cooking.  Sometimes I'll wrap whatever is leftover in a tortilla and have it for lunch the next day too.  I put produce that will soon go bad but don't feel like cooking into my bullet blender.  (I even put fresh herbs in there, like basil, mint, etc.)  If I have random food left like a serving of broccoli or half a piece of chicken, I'll put in a big container in the freezer, and keep adding to it over the weeks.  Once it's full, I turn it into soup.  (That can be hit or miss!  :D) 

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16 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Does it count if you feed the “wasted” food to your chickens who give you eggs?

It makes me so happy when I can do this!

I made black bean soup last night and didn't realize until this morning that there was some left out in the pot all night. 

I was sad not to be able to eat it myself but happy I could feed it to the chickens.

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I do have veggies go bad but I'd rather have veggies sometimes go bad than eat fewer fresh veggies because we don't have them on hand. 

I don't teach my kids to always finish everything on their plate either; extra food going into our bodies when we are not hungry just becomes a different kind of problem and ultimately can result in "wasted" health. I try to teach my kids to listen to their own bodies and stop eating when they are no longer hungry.

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I’m getting better. It helps if I grow it myself. It lasts longer and I’m real pushy about eating things I worked to produce.  I’ve become an expert at hiding zucchini in food and passing off butternut squash as pumpkin.  This was my best garden yearI’m getting better at shopping my fridge first and planning around what’s in there. It helps that I hate grocery shopping now and will put it off for weeks. 

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I try not to waste food.  So when I'm rotating food in the fridge, I will often pull out a few things that are close to expired and eat them for my next meal.

I do have to throw food out sometimes.  I can't control what everyone else does all the time.  And it isn't fair for me to guilt myself into eating other people's rejects all the time.  But I hate seeing food go to waste.

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We are really pinching the budget right now because we have an estimated 40k in legal fees upcoming this quarter.  That said, we are trying really hard not to waste a dime.  We actually didn’t waste that much this last grocery trip.  Hoping to keep it up.  
 

I clean out and reorganize the fridge as part of the meal planning process.  The first day or two of the new meal plan is to use up as much of the odds and ends still good from the last grocery run.  I purposefully do not plan to have left overs.  We don’t find them appealing and so we almost never eat them.  
 

DH is a meat and starch, no green on the plate, type of guy.  As a 7 y/o the grandson just doesn’t eat a lot. DD and I are the only two who is willing to eat non starch veggies.  So meal plans tend to be simple....

Breakfast - bakery pastries, then cereal (hot or cold), and maybe pancakes and eggs on non-school days.

Lunch - sandwich style lunches either hot or cold with chips or veggies and dip, family dinner style frozen meal or frozen pizza, or a quick cook item like a kabob or box meal.

Dinner - planned meal with a meat, starch and a non starch veggie.  I sometimes sneak in extra veggie by using a pesto style pasta sauce for all but DH.  
 

Where we tend to get wasteful is when we start shopping the inner aisles of the store.  DH buys the variety packs of chips and snacks that have flavors none of us like....(barbecue Fritos I’m looking at you) so we throw out half the package.  Or he leaves the cheese on the counter from making sandwiches.......

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I've gotten a lot better over the last few years. Kids getting bigger and eating more has really helped!

We waste almost nothing, but we do underutilize a lot of food. Meaning, it goes to the dog, the chickens, or the rabbit once people won't eat it. Or composted if I completely missed it going moldy, but that is rare. Sometimes I "plan" for waste to go to the animals, but more often it's just when produce gets wilty. We eat dinner leftovers for lunch so that almost never goes to waste. 

The biggest waste we have is bananas. Sometimes we go through 6+ a day, and other times no one touches them for a week. I somehow always miss them going bad before they can be frozen, and the animals won't touch them. 

I would rather waste food then not have fresh produce in the house every day though. Health is more important than money/waste for me in that regard. 

Edited by Btervet
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We don't waste much and what we do tends to be stuff from garden that accumulates faster than I can take care of it.  It has truly been years since I had anything fuzzy in my fridge.  But I'm very good about repurposing/reinventing things as well as using what I have even if the "recipe"(which I use that term very lightly because in my world recipes are simply a list of suggestions) calls for something else.  DS2 has been coming home from work with lots of cooked rice and leftover steak.  So, I've been adding rice to chili.  I wouldn't normally put rice in chili but hey it works.  And the steak, I've been chopping it up pretty small and using it in place of hamburger.  Or I've got a bunch of fruit in the freezer that is starting to get icy and taste a little off.  I mix a bunch of different ones in the blender with some orange juice concentrate and am dehydrating them into fruit strips that I'm having to ration because everyone loves them.  So those kinds of things but on a bigger scale with more variety.  Also I only cook supper from Sunday through Thursday.  All lunches and Fri and Sat supper are leftovers and clean out the fridge meals (we call these dabs and doodles meals).  It is completely normal for a Saturday supper to include something like a burrito, a side of fried rice, and cheesy broccoli soup.  Or as @Garga mentioned above, pizza, carrots and egg drop soup.  Mixed up meals are completely normal here and my kids don't even bat an eye.  And for those meals usually no 2 people will get the exact same food.  Everyone gets protein, starch, and veggie and I try to accommodate preferences but when it comes down to it, we are using those leftovers up and I'm not cooking again till they are gone so yeah, someone might get something they don't like, or think doesn't go with whatever else they were given but that's just life.  

Edited by cjzimmer1
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I waste a lot because I buy too much food. I found 2 bags of expired raisins, expired Mac and cheese boxes, expired pumpkin purée from 3 years ago and expired mustard in my pantry. Apparently I am a food hoarder even during pre-Covid times. Most of the problem is because I am busy in the day with work and busy in the evening driving to extracurricular activities and cooking that I shop infrequently and stock up. An attack of the pantry bugs has taken care of the hoarding habit for me now. I am mostly better with fresh produce and occasionally will compost slimy green beans or moldy cucumbers, but, since covid, we eat all the fresh produce that I grow and buy.

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15 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I occasionally ditch a vegetable (usually lettuce) or a couple of spoonfuls of leftovers....but mostly my family eats an entire fridge full of food every week. Everything turns over (even all of the condiments) within a few weeks. 

Wow, that's incredible!

 

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3 hours ago, mlktwins said:

I waste a lot less now than I did pre-Covid.  We now have an inventory of what is in our freezer and keep up with it.  We are not eating out or gettng take-out anymore so I plan meals for the week now to make sure we have what we need.  I do curbside pick-up twice a week - usually Mondays and Thursdays.

We are not either.

I tried to do a good job at keeping inventory, but I never stick with it. Both, freezer and pantry. I feel like writing down stuff in the fridge is a waste of time....like I should be able to take a look and just see what's there.

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Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.  The key to not wasting it for me is to go through it the day before grocery shopping and cook up or prepare any produce that’s getting old.  It also really helps for us if I maintain a leftover fridge shelf where I put any leftovers or food Ive noticed needs eating in the next two days.  Then we look there first when we’re hungry.  Lastly we have chooks, a dog and sheep and almost all those things can eat various things which helps as well.  Oh and the love food hate waste site is great for figuring out how much to cook.

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I don't waste much. I buy what looks good at the shops. Then when it comes to cooking, I look in the fridge and work with what's there. I make recipes up or substitute to fit what I have until it's finished.  Tonight I'm making an Indian dish that specifies paneer. I don't have that so I'm making it with prawns and tofu.

I eat leftovers for lunch.

Edited by Laura Corin
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5 hours ago, Garga said:

 

I’ve been thinking that I need to just bite the bullet...or the carrots...and just eat bizarre lunches every few days that are the odds and ends that no one else wants to eat.  Here’s to pizza, carrots, and leftover egg drop soup for my lunch tomorrow!  

That sounds like a pretty normal lunch to me

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6 hours ago, regentrude said:

I grew up with a mom and grandmother who lived through famine in Germany after WW2; throwing out food was a sin.

I just make sure to use up what perishables I have before buying new stuff. Leftovers are reheated the next meal or the next day. I think of ways to use the odds and ends. Veggies past their prime become soup or frittata, asparagus ends and wilted celery get frozen and used to make stock.

What's your biggest obstacle to not wasting food? Leftovers going bad, or veggies forgotten in the fridge?

For me, the same thing backfires. I/we don't really eat leftovers but I can't throw things out either. So I just stick stuff in the fridge and leave it there until it definitely isn't edible anymore. I generally try to cook amounts that we will eat so there aren't usually large amounts of cooked food - it is more half-used cans of ingredients etc.

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We don't waste much food at all. I've got a very good handle on what and how much we eat. We don't mind leftovers. We'll eat them for another dinner in a night or two, or for lunch. If there's really a lot of something left it's almost always something I can freeze and have an easy meal later. If it's just a spoonful or two of something left we often give it to the dogs (as long as there are no onions or any other bad-for-dogs ingredients). I don't count that as waste. They have to eat, too.

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My problem is wasting veggies because I over-buy.  I feed them to the chickens when they are past their prime, so they aren't totally wasted.  But still...I don't need to be spending money on squash or grapes just for the hens.   

I've gotten a lot better about food waste during the pandemic.  I meal plan and prep for 3 days in advance, and then on day 4 I go through the fridge to make a plan for any remaining leftovers.  My husband doesn't really like leftovers and can be really picky, but I kind of told him that he was going to have to get over it because the grocery stores were not always well stocked.  

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It’s produce for me. That whole joke about bananas applies to most fruits and vegetables in my house. Gone in a day or completely rotting down the road. I’m talking apples to zucchini. They change their preferences constantly, and rarely like to line them up with seasons and sales. 😛 

We don’t have a whole lot of waste in other categories.  I had some milk go bad a few weeks ago for the first time I can remember.  We eat leftovers for lunch and sometimes even breakfast. There’s usually one night a week when I pull out any odds and ends leftovers for a smorgasbord dinner, maybe with extra rice or pasta to round it out. That’s usually the night before garbage day (and fridge cleaning day), so I’m pushing people to eat anything that’s still good or it will be tossed.

Sometimes I wind up with 3 people (or 4 or 5) for dinner instead of 6, so I’ll freeze the rest for another night when there’s a lot left. And I also batch cook for the freezer so, if I know there will be fewer people, I can take out fewer premade chicken breasts or meatballs or whatever.

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I try not to waste but am not perfect. Dh takes leftovers for lunch, I eat leftovers as well, and sometimes we have a leftover night.

The heels of bread tend to be wasted. I miss odd and ends produce or I buy something and suddenly everyone decides they don't like that anymore, when they previously loved it and I'm forcing it down them. I have a partial thing of cheese balls. Week before I told them they could pick out some chips, they all said that is what they wanted for sure, now it is half gone but nobody wants anymore. So, I won't be buying anymore until they finish those.

When I'm on the ball I try to be diligent with making a inventory before making my menu, when things get busy I am not as good with that and miss more. I aim for zero waste but don't count it if the kids have a bite or two left on their plates.

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9 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

We don't waste hardly anything right now.  Dh, I, or the kids eat leftovers.   Produce i will throw into  a smoothie or chilli.   Also anything extra the dogs or chickens eat.  

I do give the outside dog and cat scraps so very, very few things are just thrown away but it still feels like waste to me as it was intended for us to eat, not the animals but it isn't just thrown out.

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11 hours ago, SereneHome said:

I know I do. I get so upset with my kids when they don't finish stuff on their plates, but the truth is, I waste a lot more than they do bc either I buy something thinking that I'll use it in a recipe. Or....bc I don't like grocery shopping, I buy too much, hoping not to go for awhile. So, for many other reasons.

Just typing this makes my heart hurt. My grandmother lost both of her parents to starvation during WWII, so being hungry is not something I just read in books about.

Anyway, every year I promise to do better, but haven't yet 😞

If you are good about not wasting food, what's your secret?

Yes, I do, but I am getting better. I try very hard to cook only as much as we'll eat at a meal--we suck

at eating left-overs; I try to think carefully about what life will be like for the next week so that I don't buy a head of lettuce that will languish in the fridge because we were too busy for salad. Also, I have come to realize that we don't really like tossed green salads all that much so I just quit buying the stuff.

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14 minutes ago, Soror said:

I do give the outside dog and cat scraps so very, very few things are just thrown away but it still feels like waste to me as it was intended for us to eat, not the animals but it isn't just thrown out.

Gotcha.   I don't see it like that.  If I give it to the chickens then they eat less feed so it saves me a bit of money there.  Probably more expensive than feed, but I just don't let my mind go there. 

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As I have been thinking about this more and more,yes, sometimes it's leftovers mashed potatoes or rice or pasta, but mostly it's produce. Bc evidently my children are not unique in like item X one week and not touching it the next....

Also, bc I am so into feeding everyone tons of produce, I have a tendency to buy a large variety. May be I need to keep it to a few items a time.

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9 minutes ago, SereneHome said:

As I have been thinking about this more and more,yes, sometimes it's leftovers mashed potatoes or rice or pasta, but mostly it's produce. Bc evidently my children are not unique in like item X one week and not touching it the next....

Also, bc I am so into feeding everyone tons of produce, I have a tendency to buy a large variety. May be I need to keep it to a few items a time.

I usually have a large variety of produce in the house, because that's what I mostly eat. Maybe you can be more intentional about using up produce that nears the end of its life span? Soups, curry, frittata, quiche can all absorb a vast variety of random veggies (and you can even put already cooked stuff in); fruit can be made into smoothies or a mixed compote. Or save random ends in the freezer for stock. 
The leftover starches, I simply use them at the next meal or throw them into a salad (rice and pasta, not the mashed potatoes, lol - but those you can fry up in little patties with an egg)

Edited by regentrude
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We waste almost nothing.  I meal plan and rotate weekly so anything that is on its way out gets consumed, frozen, or planned for at that time.  My family is accustomed to leftovers.  We usually eat dinner leftovers for lunch the next day.  If I still have leftovers, I freeze them in individual portions.  Those are super handy when we don't have time to cook.  And now that popping into a restaurant on busy nights is off the table, these frozen leftovers are like gold.  I cannot seem to keep them stocked.  I am a "creative" cook and will put a bit of this or that into just about anything so I never have the leftover ingredients problem.  And I always use up fresh produce in the order of "fragility."  That is part of how I menu plan.  Only very rarely will a lone lemon or jalapeño roll behind something and go bad.  It is usually found before fuzz is involved.  My fridge is packed on grocery day so I usually have to move things around so much that I find any stowaways pretty quickly.  And then there is the very occasional recipe fail.  I will eat just about anything, so again, it has to be really REALLY bad for it to end up in the compost bin but it does happen from time to time.

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I don't end up throwing very much out. The strategies that I've found to help are:

  • Making dinner from whatever's on hand and perishable. If that's clementines and chicken thighs, cook the chicken in the clementines and maybe throw on some toasted almonds or something, it'll be fine.
  • Having a bunch of go-to dishes that use up random leftovers. Soups, stir fries, fajitas, rice pudding, a basic tea bread base that I can jam in zuchinni or slightly overripe banana or half a can of pumpkin or whatever.
  • Having a husband and 2 (out of 3) kids who are happy to eat dinner leftovers for lunch so long as I pack them away attractively arranged in a *clearly visible* glass container in the fridge.
  • Buying and stowing away fresh stuff in 2 categories: "needs to be eaten quickly" vs "will hold on for 5+ days."  I've gotten a LOT better on this point since COVID, where I'm only getting fresh stuff every 14+ days.
  • Not being overly fastidious about *slightly* wilted produce or *slightly* past "best by" dates. I throw slightly soft tomatoes into cooked dishes, cut the brown spots off apples and throw them into baked goods, don't worry for one second if the dried pasta or mustard is a little past "best by" date. YMMV but I haven't killed anybody yet. (I don't do this with meat.)
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I have one kid who loves dinner leftovers for lunch. His dream lunch is like 3-4 tiny servings of random leftovers. Yesterday he ate 3 Buffalo wings, a hot dog bun, and some mixed frozen vegetables out of an open freezer bag.

The pantry stuff is where my food waste comes in. I’m more disorganized than I should be and sometimes cans and boxes hide until well beyond their use by date. Or we will receive some random item in a gift basket or something and never really use it. 

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We don't throw out too much. Fresh vegetables is my problem; I can buy large amounts at a low price at a local produce market, but often it is too much for us to use. Composting has become a way of life now; that helps me feel better about it.  

If there are small amounts of leftovers, I badger my husband to help me eat them. We try to keep a list of what food we cooked on each date, and when it has to be frozen or tossed. I've gotten a lot less picky about things like salad that's been sitting around - if it's safe to eat, I'll just eat it for lunch. 

A bigger problem for me is bread; we get to the end of a loaf, and it's dry, and I can only save so much for breadcrumbs. 

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More than I'd like to admit, though we're doing better than we did a few years ago. I recently stopped my produce delivery service because we were throwing too much away, even when I ordered their smallest box. I've gone back to my early pandemic plan of curbside grocery pickup. That way I can choose the fruits and veggies we eat, and ones I need for upcoming planned meals. 

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3 hours ago, Laura Corin said:

For veggies, I  use them in order based on how well they keep, starting with soft leaves and ending with roots.

Me, too.  I learned to do this when I used to be in an organic coop that ordered from the same supplier as Whole Paycheck.  I was getting stuff for just  smidge over wholesale, but only every two weeks, and we had to commit to cases of it, although we sometimes managed to share.  So I might get 8-10 bags of herb salad mix, and a case of romaine lettuce heads, and a case of blueberries in clamshells, and have to eat them in the right order to have nothing go bad.  Fortunately, I learned that these stayed fresh for much longer than I would have believed from buying them.  That's one of the things that motivated me to start planting all my fruit trees--because I have fresh produce available to me over an entire several month season from each one, if I just am restrained about only picking what I will use or dry or freeze in the next few days at one time.  It's awesome.

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18 hours ago, Sdel said:

We are really pinching the budget right now because we have an estimated 40k in legal fees upcoming this quarter.  That said, we are trying really hard not to waste a dime.  We actually didn’t waste that much this last grocery trip.  Hoping to keep it up.  
 

I clean out and reorganize the fridge as part of the meal planning process.  The first day or two of the new meal plan is to use up as much of the odds and ends still good from the last grocery run.  I purposefully do not plan to have left overs.  We don’t find them appealing and so we almost never eat them.  
 

DH is a meat and starch, no green on the plate, type of guy.  As a 7 y/o the grandson just doesn’t eat a lot. DD and I are the only two who is willing to eat non starch veggies.  So meal plans tend to be simple....

Breakfast - bakery pastries, then cereal (hot or cold), and maybe pancakes and eggs on non-school days.

Lunch - sandwich style lunches either hot or cold with chips or veggies and dip, family dinner style frozen meal or frozen pizza, or a quick cook item like a kabob aor box meal.

Dinner - planned meal with a meat, starch and a non starch veggie.  I sometimes sneak in extra veggie by using a pesto style pasta sauce for all but DH.  
 

Where we tend to get wasteful is when we start shopping the inner aisles of the store.  DH buys the variety packs of chips and snacks that have flavors none of us like....(barbecue Fritos I’m looking at you) so we throw out half the package.  Or he leaves the cheese on the counter from making sandwiches.......

At least he makes his own sandwich! 🤣 My dh is seldom bin the kitchen, but when he is, he either leaves stuff out or leaves the stove/oven on.

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I try not to waste food. We only ever bought fresh before the pandemic so produce was the one that got wasted. Fruit that was turning bad was made into smoothies or baked into something. Produce depending on what it was made it into a vegetable curry or soup. I always have a stock bag with all kinds of stuff in it and make stock regularly. I try really hard not to waste as I come from a country of rampant poverty and hunger.

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8 hours ago, marbel said:

A bigger problem for me is bread; we get to the end of a loaf, and it's dry, and I can only save so much for breadcrumbs. 

When I have baked, I immediately freeze half the loaf, in two portions. Since my home baked bread contains no preservatives, it gets moldy fast otherwise (lots of spores here). 

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