Don’t Eat Your Wallet! #6 of 10 easy steps to reducing grocery expenses

Reduce or eliminate waste.  Use leftovers well and preserve food; use a plan.  Be a wise steward of resources!  The more you know about cooking, the better you’ll be at this!  There are websites where you can enter the name of a food item and find recipes for using it.  Here are some other ideas for cutting out waste:

Once a week, clean out the fridge and freeze, dehydrate or use anything that needs to be used before going bad.  Most vegetables can be frozen.  (In fact, check out this post for ways to make your cooking faster and easier by prepping and freezing batches of onions, garlic, and ginger.)

Keep a “soup” bag or container in your freezer.  Toss in bits of leftover vegetables, meats, sauces, beans or pastas to be combined later for a soup.  Obviously, you want to keep an eye combining things that work well.

Although I’ve tried systems like the cool “salad in a jar”, for me the most effective, simplest, and least expensive way to save prepped lettuce is this:  It’s a little hard to explain, but I picked up this 2-pack at Walmart.  In the bottom of one of the bowls, I poked holes.  Be sure that you poke from inside out so that water drains.  That holey-bowl nests in the other bowl and a lid goes on top.  Any liquid left on the lettuce drains into the bottom container and the lettuce lasts longer.  Cool, huh?

When I’ve found a bunch of deals not on my list for fresh meat or produce, I make a list as soon as we get home from the grocery store to remind me what to use before it goes bad and post it on the fridge.  I often make or adjust the menu for the week to incorporate meals with those items in mind.

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