The struggle in my home around food is usually surrounding the idea of wasting food. In an effort to better utilize our blessings, and in the sentiment of my loving father and grandmother growing up, 'to clean my plate', these are the plans to stop wasting food (and money) by using what we have before it spoils.
1. Shop often.
There are two kinds of grocery shoppers. The ones who go to Walmart and buy everything in sight, and the ones who buy what they need as they need it often from the neighborhood butcher etc. We go to grocery shopping at least three times a week now, often walking. We get a workout in while getting just what we need for the day.
2. Buy less.
Instead of buying food to feed an army, we are buying lesser amounts of food that does not last long or will not be eaten in time. If we buy less, there is less to eat. Easy stuff...
3. Use lists
I like to use the app on my phone to track online coupons and make my grocery list. Makes life pretty simple.
4. Stick to the lists.
We are working on buying groceries that we sought out to buy only. It is so easy to get distracted by in store advertisements, candy, and other products that we did not intend to purchase at that time. This takes some effort on everyone's part. My son and I remind each other-that's not why we came here! :)
We like bananas... but NEVER eat them before they spoil. I decided to figure out what we already had at home to best utilize some browning bananas. Although my son was completely uninterested in those brown bananas who could not get enough of the banana nut bread I created from them.
A lot of foods can be frozen in Ziploc bags. Not rocket science but in a busy household like ours, it often simply gets passed by us before we (I) know it. I love freezing any veggies I can use for soups or stir-fry.
7. Use what you have.
When I grocery shop, I often buy things that are on sale (if they can be easily stored) even though I do not need them right this minute. Therefore, I often need to remind myself that I have lots of unique ingredients to use and should find a new way to incorporate them instead of being another kitchen decoration.
8. Eat in season.
The most unique, natural, fresh, and often-cost friendly produce is that which is in season. Switch it up and store whatever is leftover for later use if possible.
9. Only buy on sale.
I used to buy whatever looked appetizing... until I realized how much money I was wasting. I'm not a coupon lady. Never will be. But... I have a new rule-never buy food unless it is on sale. Obviously there will be times this rule must be broken when there is a need for something special. Most of the time, however, I have found this rule is not that hard to keep.