Guest post by Angi of SchneiderPeeps
Because of increasing gasoline prices we need to cut our grocery budget a little and move those funds over to our auto budget. This is really a good thing, since I’ve noticed I’ve gotten a little sloppy lately. So I’m going back to the “No Waste Kitchen” philosophy that I used to have and let slide over the past few years.
For me, a “No Waste Kitchen” means that no edible food gets thrown out – or given to the hens or dog. It means no item is too small to matter. It also means saving money. We’ve lived this way before, we can do it again.
Here’s our plan:
1. Don’t buy things that we don’t like or won’t eat.
I know this sounds reasonable, but sometimes an item is so cheap or even free that I think it’s a good deal. But if it just sits in my pantry taking up space then it’s not a deal.
2. Serve smaller portions on our plates.
If my children need a second serving of something they can have it. But when we put larger portions on our plates and then don’t eat it all, we really have no choice but to give the leftovers to the animals.
3. Manage the leftovers.
Plan at least one lunch or dinner each week to intentionally clean out the refrigerator and freezer of the leftovers. We call it “Buffet Night”.
Remake the leftovers into something else. For instance, if I have broccoli left over from dinner, I can use it to make a little cream of broccoli soup for lunch the next day.
If there’s quite a bit of leftovers, I can freeze them in small meal size containers as “frozen dinners.”
4. Look out for the little stuff.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Sometimes there really is too small an amount to save (or so we think). Save it anyway. I have a container in my freezer that is just for tomato products.
For instance, each week when we have pizza we have about 2 Tablespoons of sauce left over. Those 2 Tablespoons go into the container. If we have spaghetti and there’s some sauce left over, it goes into the container. If we brown meat and don’t use it all, the rest goes into the container. When the container is full, I use it to make spaghetti.
5. Freeze things before they spoil.
If I notice that the bananas are not getting eaten very quickly and they are past their prime, I put them in the freezer until I have time to make banana bread. If something has been in the refrigerator for a couple of days and I’m not sure if it will make it until “Buffet Night”, I put it in the freezer. I just need to remember to scour the freezer, also.
What are your favorite tips for less waste in the kitchen?
Angi is a pastor’s wife and mom of 6 children who spends her days homeschooling, crafting, gardening, playing chauffer, keeping chickens, trying to learn how take better pictures and blogging at SchneiderPeeps. She’s also the author of The Gardening Notebook.