Waste Not, Want Not

by Joe Lawrence | February 17th, 2010 | Shopping Secrets

A couple months ago I was cleaning out my cabinets and realized there was stuff in there for years.  I then went to my fridge and saw all sorts of stuff in there that we bought and did not use.  It made me wonder about how all this wasted food could enter my kitchen.  Then it hit me.

When I go grocery shopping, I make a list.  Usually, I plan meals for the week with my wife, and one of us goes to the store for all the items.  Sure enough, on Wednesday we decided to get take out or that we weren’t in the mood for what we planned.  Those ingredients just sat in the cabinet.  In fact, if they weren’t perishable items, there was no reason to discard them.

After a quick audit, I estimated about $170 wasted on food items we likely would not eat.  The solution: shop for a few days at a time.  By doing this for the past month, we have had very little waste.

I actually discovered some perks to this style of shopping.  First, less time in the store because I am buying fewer items.  Instead of spending two hours on items for the week, I am in there for 30 minutes each twice a week.  Take in the commute time and this is a slight advantage.

Another advantage is select shopping.  I know that meat is cheaper in one store and when there is steak on the menu, I can get the best quality steak for my buck.  There are some stores with great produce, and I can go there when veggies are on the menu.  Now, we have the freshest produce instead of settling with whatever we end up with.

Finally, the biggest advantage for me is not having all the waste filling the fridge.  When we plan a few meals in advance instead of many, we are more likely to be in the mood for our choices.  It is great for a miser like me to have a good feeling when looking at my cabinets.

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