How Your Leftovers Can Save You MONEY!
1/3 of food produced for human consumption is wasted each year.
Today we are going to talk about 5 tips on how reducing your food waste can save time, money, and the environment!
- Your Freezer is Your Friend!
- Creativity is Key
- Sharing is Caring
- Food Scraps Are Still FOOD
Your Freezer is Your Friend!
I don’t know about you, but cooking for one or two people is an art form I have not mastered yet. If you have leftovers from your meals, consider freezing them! There are tons of resources online to find out if your meal, or meal components will freeze well.
When in doubt, you can even get inspiration from your grocery store freezer aisle. If the grocery store is freezing it, so can you! Grab some of those aluminum trays from Costco or even the dollar store and put them in them in the freezer for a future family meal. You can even portion these up into single serve meal prep containers for an easy lunch for either work, or you stay at home moms out there who are trying to keep your diets on track. Nothing like killing two birds with one stone! Can you say, productivity hack? OH YEAH!
The unfortunate thing about produce is that it goes bad so fast. When you notice your fruits or veggies starting to wilt or get mushy, cut them up, put them into a bag, and throw them into a freezer. You can combine different fruits and veggies for smoothie bags, or use frozen bananas for some nice cream (a healthy alternative to ice cream). You can also put smaller fruits into ice cube trays with some water. Once frozen, put them in your water bottle and the fruit will slowly infuse into your water.
Creativity is Key
Think outside of the box, find new flavor combinations, try something new, experiment. There’s no harm in trying something out.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”Michael Scott
Transform your leftover meal components into something new. Cut up veggies, grains, or even meat products can be reused in a stir fry, soups, salads, tacos, or even sauces.
Pro tip, if you have picky eaters at home, blend up your veggies and throw them in a sauce. your kids will never know!
Sharing is Caring
Whether you bring a meal to a friend or family member, throw a spontaneous potluck at work or your house, there is always a way to make sure the food you made or bought gets eaten!
If you really want to go above and beyond, you can bring a meal to a person in need. I live just outside the city of Detroit, there is always someone out and about just asking for a bite to eat. If your not going to eat your leftovers, you can always find someone who will. Not only are you reducing your food waste and saving money, you are bringing positivity into the world and doing something nice for someone else.
Food Scraps Are Still FOOD
Composting is a great option for food scraps. If you are lucky enough to have a yard, you can start a compost pile which, in the long run, will provide you with fertile material to either grow a garden with, or even sell. If you live in a place where composting on your property isn’t an option, a lot of cities have community compost piles you can drop off your food scraps at. In some places, composting can even save you money of your garbage bill. If you live in a city where your garbage is billed based upon the size of your garbage can, composting and recycling can help you save money on your waste bill.
Did you know?
- You can regrow your food scraps! Don’t throw you that bell pepper top, save the seeds and grow your own. Have a bunch of green onions? save the bottoms, pot them in soil and water and watch them grow.
- You can turn your food scraps into more food! Citrus fruit peels can be put into your water to make a fruit infused drink. Not only is it delicious, but it helps flush toxins out of your body. Have veggie or herb scraps? make it into a stock or broth. Bone broth is all the rage today in the health and fitness community. If you consume animal products, save bones and fats to make your homemade bone broth.
Whether electronic lists or paper lists work best for you, keeping a current list of perishable things in your fridge and pantry. This will help you remember what needs to be used up.
In my house I have a leftover shelf. This shelf is strategically placed at eye level, so the first thing I see when I open my fridge are things that need to be eaten first.
On the same topic, keep perishable foods like produce in places you can see them! Who else is guilty of their cucumbers turning into mush in their crisper drawers? If you are meal planning (you should be) plan a day into that schedule for eating your leftovers.