One of my most favorite things has got to be having ZERO food waste each week! As a girl living on a tight budget, I feel like a little bit of checking account dies everytime I have to throw food out, because it sat in a back corner of my fridge for too long. To help avoid this pitfall, that is all too common in MOST households, I plan out my meals, for the upcoming week, every Saturday morning, as soon as the kitchen is cleaned up from breakfast. Grocery shopping is done somewhere between Saturday evening and Sunday after church, depending on our weekend plans. And we meal prep Sunday evening. Having a set routine, like this, ensures we don’t make impulse buys which can lead to overbuying, or eating things we don’t need.
Tips for Creating Zero Food Waste
- Find a set day to plan all your meals for the week. I usually make 3-4 meals a week, and we eat leftovers the rest of the week.
- Shop on the same day every week.
- Use the oldest food items first.
- Prepare all meals, for the week, at the beginning of the week.
- Don’t be scared of leftovers! Many dishes have MORE flavor after they’ve sat for a few days. If you have any specific dishes you are particularly concerned about, freeze it until the night before you plan on eating it.
- Use your freezer! Many of the dishes I prepapre make enough for 3 or 4 meals. This is when I will put half in a container for the fridge, and half in a container for the freezer. This will come in handy, down the line, when you either have a week that you’ve had unforseen expenses pop up, you’re super busy, or just plain tired. I’ve had weeks that I was able to pull 3 out of 4 meals, for the week, straight out of the freezer on Sunday evening; leaving ne with only 1 that I actually had to put any effort in to.
- Last but not least, get creative! If it’s Saturday morning and you’ve got random bits and pieces floating around your fridge, don’t be scared to make up your own recipe, for lunch, to use them up. Who knows, you may stumble across your new favorite way of making frittata, goulash, or pizza!