Hey Foodies – I just started a discussion in the Go Green group seeking ideas on successful ways to reduce food waste. I’d love to hear your suggestions!
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I raised 3 boys and we rarely threw out food. I would make a turkey, ham, roast, etc. on weekends, and then plan meals around the leftover meats, such as fajitas, stir frys, open face sandwiches broiled in the stove, soups, casseroles, etc. Made meal time prep during the week quicker and saved a lot of money on groceries, especially because I usually fed my 3 boys and a friend or 2 at a lot of our meals.
Meal planning if huge for our family! Not only does it save money, but it keeps us accountable and on track with our healthy lifestyle! I host healthy freezer meal workshops for friends and family, and so I always have a stock of freezer meals we can easily pull out of the freezer and use. I plan on using leftovers in lunches and I also plan leftovers at least once a week to make sure food gets eaten.
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I love that – having a plan really does help keep you on track with healthy eating.
I have noticed that if I “shop for the week” I end up wasting because our schedules may change and the fresh food I’ve purchased doesn’t get consumed in the way I had planned. I try really hard to shop for a few items for a specific meal or two every few days, or ask my husband to help, and make enough where we will have left overs for lunches, another dinner, and so on. Also, when shopping that way, the fresh produce is really fresh.
I use the app, Cozi, for meal planning so I only buy foods I know I’ll use that week. Also, I save my vegetable peelings in a bag I keep in the freezer. When it gets full, I add water and cook them down to make yummy vegetable stock — no need to purchase and the “waste” gets repurposed!
The vegetable peeling idea is great. Are there certain vegetable peelings you use for the stock for flavor? I was just wondering if some vegetables would give the stock an odd taste or if it always comes out tasting good regardless of the vegetable peeling mix?
I dump it all in — carrot peeling, celery stumps, cauliflower greens, brussels sprout tips … everything! Haven’t had any yucky tasting issues yet.
Love it, great idea, @sara!
On the weekends when I have more time, I chop all my vegetables for the week, and as I do, ALL the scraps go into my stock bag and then into the freezer just like @sara. I put ends from asparagus, all of the onion skins/outer layers, root, celery leaves/end pieces, carrot tops/peels, garlic skins. EVERYTHING! I feel so good knowing I'm not wasting food that would go in the dump. When the gallon bag is full I make stock by either using a leftover chicken carcass and then boiling with veggies, or just the veggies in a stock pot with water. If just using the veggies along, can then be added to the compost pile.
• I use vegetable scraps for broth.
• And when I boil pasta or noodles I drain the water into another pot to use as soup base to help thicken the soup in lieu of adding flour or corn starch.
• Birds and animals in our back yard enjoy scraps of veggies, nuts and grains so some goes to them.
• All other food scraps go into one of 2 composting bins in the back yard. This way we rotate through them and every few months we have , which in a few fertile soil for our garden. Here is an option if you want to try it before you buy the compost bins – http://eartheasy.com/grow_compost.html
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