As we “Fall into Savings” this fall I thought it would be appropriate to make a post about not wasting food. If you remember back I made a resolution this fall to take any free produce that was offered to me, and use it. I’ve been trying to put that rule to good practice. Taking free apples and making applesauce, taking free tomatoes and making a whole bunch of various canned tomato products.
Remember that 9 pounds of onions I bought a few weeks back? Well today I peeled them all and stuck them in my dehydrator. $3 for a whole lot of dried onions(which I use ALOT) seemed like a good deal to me!
What about leftovers? What do you do with your leftovers at the end of a meal. Do you eat them again another day? Do you turn them into a different meal altogether? Or do you throw them out? I knew a family when I was growing up that would never eat any kind of leftovers. They threw them out after every meal. I was shocked when I found this out, even though I was young. My mom would save all the leftovers from the week and we would have one night a week to eat them up(and we ate leftovers for lunch the next day). I just couldn’t imagine throwing them out! At my house we try not to let any food go to waste. I try to clean out the fridge often so I know what’s in there and what we need to eat up. And when I find something I can throw into another meal, like the hamburger I had browned for tacos usually ends up as the meat in my lasagna, I will use it.
We don’t have alot so when I do spend money on food I feel like it needs to be used and not carelessly thrown away after being in the fridge for a few weeks until it’s grown mold the size of Texas(and I’m speaking from experience here) We aren’t perfect when it comes to eating up every little thing but I feel better about us not eating it when I give something that was not good or on the edge of being bad to the outside animals or to the chickens. At least someone is eating it right?
I think as couponers we have even more of a tendency to waste food than someone who just bargain shops. We get alot of items for free and when it comes to deciding whether or not to throw it out we often think about how much we paid for it. If we remember that we paid nothing, or even made money off it we may feel less guilty about throwing it out.
I think that’s our challenge and something we just need to be aware of. Did you know that Americans throw away almost 40% of the food they buy? My new food budget is $100 a month so that would be like tossing $40 of that into the garbage truck when it rolls by in the morning. And if I did that every month thats $480 I’m throwing in that garbage truck. Compared to my meager food budget that’s alot! More than I can afford to just be tossing in a trash bag.
I want to challange my readers to look at how much food they are buying each month and how much of it is going to waste. Can we cut back on these wastes? Maybe you are buying too many groceries to begin with and you need to cut back on your food budget if you are wasting food. Then you can use the extra money that was part of your food budget to do something constructive like pay down bills or buy something for your home that you need. Anyway you look at it, it’s great to be putting the money towards something you need, instead of into the garbage truck.