Friday, December 9, 2011

Simple Savings - Don't Waste Food

We don't waste food in our house. Sometimes it seems excessive, washing and saving two inch carrots from our garden, but we do. I use small apples and cut around bruises to make applesauce. If I make a new recipe that we don't really like, we still eat the rest of it and don't throw it out. Maybe it was going through graduate school that taught us these habits. We had a big family and a small paycheck. I hadn't thought about this much until my 15 year old daughter commented on how I always find ways to use leftover food. I can't remember what I was doing, but she noticed. A while back, I read an article that said how a family of four wastes enough food to feed one person in a year. I don't know if it is true, but if it is then that is disappointing. Think of how much money that family would save on their groceries by buying less - 25% of their grocery money. Think of how much less waste and trash there would be if we were more careful. If you can't use it up before it goes bad, freeze it. I have frozen extra cooked veggies, streusel topping, nuts, chocolate chips, etc. Sometimes I will freeze half of a loaf of bread so it doesn't go bad before we can eat it. My freezer is like a food wonderland. You never know what interesting things could be in there. I usually use half the amount of meat in recipes and freeze the rest of the cooked meat for another meal. I leave out enough cookies and rolls for us to eat for a meal or snack and freeze the rest. If I left them out, we would be tempted to overeat. It is a way to help us to control the portions we eat. Out of sight, out of mind. If the kids are hungry, I just pull out a roll or pizza bread or something from the freezer, pop it in the microwave for 15 seconds and it is ready. Lunches are easy when you can just pull something out of the freezer and pop it in the lunch box. By lunch time, it is thawed and ready to eat.

Take some time this week and look through your fridge. If you have things that you can't use before they spoil, freeze them. Plan your menus around what you have. Maybe wait a day or two before going shopping so you can finish perishables in the fridge. Figure out what you can do to reduce waste in your home. It is good to do for the environment, but it will also save you money.


  1. I freeze food all the time, but I am going to use your tip o freezing the cookies and rolls. We always feel we have to eat them up and then we over eat. I don't know why I never thought of that before, but we do always freeze leftovers, veggies, bread, meat, etc. Great tips and suggestions!

  2. I couldn't agree more! It is not that the 2 in carrot will save you any money but the mindset of never wasting food will save thousands a year. Angela

  3. Very good post! I love this from the previous comment: the mindset of never wasting food will save thousands a year. So true! We work with inner-city youth and refugee families and see hunger on a regular basis. The waste of food in America is a shame, when there are so many children who are hungry. I found your link at Colleen's and am your newest follower.

  4. Thank you for the post! I try not to waste food, but I'm also not good with getting things into the freezer on time, and sometimes I just plan too much into our menus.

    You've inspired me to see if I can go to the end of the month without wasting any more food. Check it out at:
    I'll be publishing follow-up posts weekly.

  5. I have enjoyed all of your comments. It is nice that we can inspire each other and share ideas. Thanks for taking the time to come by and comment.