August 20, 2014

No Food Waste Week

May3

We’ve all done it.

We clean out our pantry, and find boxes, bags and cans of food that are well past their expiration date, so we throw them out immediately.

The wilting produce in the fruit bowl? It’s just easier to toss them in the garbage.

The leftovers that have been found in the recesses of the fridge only to be indistinguishable as to their original intent? Yep, in the trash, and honestly, it’s not even worth cleaning out the nasty Tupperware.

I spend day after day coming up with creative ways to save our hard earned money, sharing those tips with you, and then I encourage you all to take a closer look at your budget. One of the easiest ways we can save money requires virtually no effort,  it’s right in front of our face, and yet we’re throwing it in the garbage – literally.

As I did some research this week on just how much food American’s waste every day, I was flabbergasted, and disgusted. The statistics varied some based on my sources, but bottom line is that a minimum of millions of tons of food is thrown out each year. It comes to an average of over a pound of food waste per person per day!!! How is this possible?

If you had asked me how much food our family throws away, my instinct would be a firm denial of any waste. As a frugal living expert, I know one shouldn’t waste food, right? I would “never” do that. Yet as I started tuning into exactly what we weren’t using, I began to get frustrated at myself, and my sweet familia. It happened so suddenly, I wasn’t even aware. The little bits here and there were adding up, and I knew it needed to stop. We weren’t being good stewards of all that we already were given.

So last week, I declared it NO FOOD WASTE WEEK. I gathered them together and threw the gauntlet down. We are not throwing away ANY FOOD this week  nothing! Now this is much easier said than done. I am two days into the challenge, and I admit giving a little bit of rice to our dog. ;)

Each day on the blog, I’ll share some of the unique ways I am attempting to make this No Food Waste week happen. It means cooperation from my family as well. Just this evening, I offered some left overs, and they said, “No thanks.” Well, somehow this food is going to be eaten, so I will need to get awfully creative tomorrow to figure out how to disguise it as “a new meal.”

I admit, it’s going to be a tricky challenge, but I am already loving the creative aspect it’s bringing to some of my meals. I think we’ll be amazed at how our grocery bill will be slashed in just seven days, as well as the time saved in the kitchen because we have food that’s ready to eat, we just need to think outside the box on how to use it immediately.

If any of you decide to take the challenge, let me know and send me a link to the post you do at the end of the week. I’d love to include it in my round up. This challenge is a good one for me. It’s stretching me to do something that I haven’t done before, and that invigorates me.

Would you care to join me in this week’s No Food Waste challenge? I dare you! (Double dog dare ya!)

Maybe we can all get our creative juices flowing as we look through this week’s Tasty Tuesday recipes.

TastyTuesday200pix Tasty Tuesday   Cookbooks Galore

Simple Rules for Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods –  As always, please link directly to your recipe post and not your blog URL, so that everyone can find the recipe months from now.

Also, link back here in your post so that everyone can join in the fun, it’s just common courtesy of blog carnivals. Please do not link up a recipe meme that you have started. Thanks for your understanding.




Comments

  1. I seriously aim for a no food waste week every week. I plan for leftovers whether they are just going in a lunch bag or being worked into another dish. If I have ideas ahead of time for leftovers they are more likely to be eaten up.

    [Reply]

  2. Kelly Ledsinger says:

    Monday night and Thursday nights are the nights before trash pick -up in my neighborhood . This is when I clean out the refrigerator . These are also our leftover nights . I take leftover veggies and make soups and omelets ,quiches ,fried rice or stir frys. Leftover rice and pasta are also thrown into the soup pot or used for fried rice. Some leftover bits of meat or veggies (think tired tomatoes and leftover chicken ) . Very ripe fruit goes into a bread or muffin batter or is thrown into the freezer for future bread or muffins .
    But , in spite of my best intentions , life intervenes and I still waste some food every week . I do have a compost pile and all of my fruit and veggie waste go into my compost . Trying not to waste food is still a work in progress .

    [Reply]

  3. Kelly Ledsinger says:

    Oh , and pasta salads are great for using up leftover cucumber , radish , tomato and other veggies . You can cut the(expensive ) mayo in the salad with italian dressing or any flavored vinegar . I take the last bit of Dijon in the mustard jar mixed with good vinegar (or wine ) and use as a salad dressing or a pasta dressing .

    [Reply]

  4. I hate waste! I have been known to refuse to cook until all the leftovers in the fridge are eaten.
    Thanks for hosting this link up party! I posted two recipes for grilling season:Ginger Lime Chicken Marinade and Grilled Pantry Pork Chop Marinade. I hope that is OK.

    -Nancy @ http://www.realfoodallergyfree.com

    [Reply]

  5. HI,
    I shared my GF Coconut Milk and two articles that I hope you like! No food waste is a great topic!

    [Reply]

  6. Some days I feel like I’m living in the wrong era. Food waste really bothers me. I HATE throwing away food. I try really hard not to. I recycle our leftovers into different meals. I compost old and tired veggies and fruits. I freeze what I can. However, it’s inevitable that I end up throwing away some food.

    I linked up two recipes: spaghetti with meat sauce and rainbow jello in pint jars.

    [Reply]

  7. There are no waste at my house! If for some odd reason my teen age sons don’t eat everything in the fridge before it’s past it’s prime – it goes out to the chickens who turn it into eggs. :)

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    You and me both, but I figured not everyone was as fortunate as us to have a perfect place to give our leftovers. :) Although last week, the left over salsa in a bowl just didn’t bode well in the co-op. ;)

    [Reply]

  8. For all my frugal skills, I still find that I throw out more food than I would like. Interested to see what ideas, suggestions & experiences you have with this!

    [Reply]

  9. Ugh. I hate waste. We are guilty as sin, and it drives me crazy. My kids go to a local camp for church, and after each meal they scrape their leftovers into a bowl that then gets weighed. The goal is to have less waste each time. They say it works!

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    That is a GREAT idea! What an important visual for the kids.

    [Reply]

  10. Just last week I threw away almost an entire loaf of homemade french bread. I was so angry at myself! I love the no food waste week.

    [Reply]

  11. Awesome, Jen!
    I try to do that because it just makes me shudder to throw food out and yes, I’ll admit, there are some weeks that the dog eats REALLY well :-)

    I’m trying really hard not to throw food out! Way to toss out the gauntlet!

    [Reply]

  12. Rebeccah says:

    Food waste isn’t really an issue in my house. As for leftovers, I know that no one is going to eat it if it wasn’t THE BEST to begin with. Fir instance, in a crunch, I may make chicken breast, plain rice and can of green beans for dinner and I won’t even touch the leftovers. So I stuck to things we love….tacos, wraps, pastas, stuff like that. Once a week, we’ve amassed enough leftovers for “YO-YO” night. YO-YO stands for “you’re on you’re own”…and we actually even have friendly competition over who gets diva on which bowl of leftovers.

    [Reply]

  13. With 3 teenage boys, chickens and a dog we don’t have much of waste. My husband takes his lunch to work and so when we just one serving of dinner left I make him a lunch and put it in the freezer. I also do that with little bits of leftover beans or spaghetti sauce – I have a tub for each in the freezer and the last bit of leftovers goes in the tub. When the tub is full I use the sauce or beans. I also have a leftover lunch once or twice a week, we pull everything out of the fridge and have a “buffet”.

    Thanks for hosting the link up, I get so many great ideas here!

    [Reply]

  14. All our food “waste” (ha! no such thing!) goes either to leftovers, compost, our laying hens, or our pigs. No food wasted here! Thanks for the inspiration and reminder to be good stewards over the great blessing we have of abundant food here in the U.S. Thanks for hosting! ~Lisa

    [Reply]

  15. I KNOW! I hate to throw away food that expires!

    Traci @ Ordinary Inspirations http://www.ordinaryinspirations.blogspot.com

    [Reply]

  16. Thanks for hosting! I’m super guilty of food wasting!

    [Reply]

  17. I have really tried lately to use my leftovers. It really helps on the grocery bill also.

    [Reply]

  18. I love the picture in your graphic! I hope that wasn’t your waste, because those half-dead veggies could go in the compost, but of course, you know that. :-)

    We work really hard on not wasting food around here, though it’s tough when a recipe wasn’t popular with 5 out of 7 people (read “the kids”). I have a leftover night every week which usually consists of side dishes, and then I cook a meat dish. I’ve also taken to adding leftovers to a big salad at lunchtime for myself. I’m not above mixing leftover together for lunch even though no one else would eat that particular combination. My worst issue is the waste of veggies and fresh fruit. We forget that stuff is in the drawers.

    [Reply]

  19. sheri grennille says:

    sitting here reading as i finish up the teriyaki chicken and onion rings from sunday’s impromptu get together for my husband and two friends to play pong. very tasty and the last “meal” left in my fridge. tonight is yogurt and granola bars because we have dance. i’m looking at a partial jar of tomato sauce and think we’ll make use of that tomorrow. i have a lot of yogurt from a really good deal – i think i might need to bake or make a smoothie to use more of it up. i love challenging myself to not toss food. breakfast was a rice and veggie stirfry with two eggs fro protein so this has been a good day for me. i love reading about other ideas!

    [Reply]

  20. I love this! Found you through Centsational Girl and will be following from now on!
    Thanks,

    Marina @ http://www.yummymummykitchen.com

    [Reply]

  21. I like to think I’m not very wasteful, but I know that I waste more than I realize. I am going to try to really pay attention to this!

    We feed our dog a lot of our vegetable trim (or it goes in the compost pile). She loves the carrot peels and apple cores. Of course I don’t give her any onion or garlic.

    We regularly have leftovers or clean up the fridge meals, usually once a week. It’s nice because we use up the food and it makes one night a little more simple for me.

    One other way I deal with leftovers is to pack up a meal size portion and my husband takes it to an elderly man who lives on a very fixed income. He is so appreciative of home cooked meals since his mainstay is boxed dinners.

    Will be watching to see just how much waste goes on in this household and will look to your ideas to curb that waste.

    Thanks for your post.

    [Reply]

  22. Oh I hate wasting food but we are guilty of it too. I dread cleaning out the fridge later because I am going to be so frustrated with what I find. I try to use up leftovers and veggies. I’ve been good about taking leftover meats and veggies from one meal and changing them up a little so that it’s like a different meal or making it into a soup. I love using up leftover homemade bread for french toast or a french toast bake. I actually taught my mom that you can freeze whole banana’s. After they are frozen I pull out how many I need when making muffins or breads and let them thaw just long enough that they begin to soften. then I snip one end off and squeeze the banana into my mixing bowl. It makes it so much easier to mix thing up that way, plus I don’t have to guess about how many banana’s I’m using.

    [Reply]

  23. Shelia says:

    We just made Sunday night’s meal “Crazy Mixed-Up” to use up what is lingering in the fridge. Somehow it sounds better than leftovers. AND the regular mealtime rules are suspended for that meal…which the kids really like.

    [Reply]

  24. What a great idea!!! I hate throwing out food…I guess my post today is “kind of” related….the fact that if I have my fruits & veggies easily accessible, they most likely WILL get eaten, before they get wilted and rotten!!!
    Thanks for the link up! :)

    [Reply]

  25. Jen – I love this idea! Waste is just such a great wrong when we have been so lavishly blessed – and yes, I say that on a small town librarian’s salary! It’s never about what we have, it’s about what we do with what we have! Stewardship of our food is important, and becoming more critical as prices rise and availability decreases.

    Recently we’ve taken another look at portions and put away all of our dinner sized plates – it’s unnecessary to fill such a large plate, yet leaving ‘empty space’ is just so hard. Luncheon sized plates have helped visually to reduce our portions and still feel as though we are getting enough – and it’s helped both the budget and the waste-line!

    I’d invite you and your readers to come take a peek at my ideas for The Luscious Leftover Buffet which is a weekly meal feature in our home! We have a lot of fun eating what would otherwise be wasted – maybe some of my ideas would be a blessing to your family as well!

    http://quietrest.blogspot.com/2009/01/luscious-leftover-buffet.html

    [Reply]

  26. Barb,
    A good way I have found for not wasting what is in your produce or fruit drawer is to write it on a dry erase board on the fridge. If I have half a cuke or something, I put it on the board so I will remeber to use it up in a cuke & onion salad.
    I am trying to be very diligent about not having wasted food, because it is just so expensive and I think of it as throwing away money. I am doing so much better.

    [Reply]

    Barb @ A Life in Balance Reply:

    @vicky, That’s a great tip! I’m reworking the Command Center in the kitchen because the current system isn’t working well. I can incorporate a dry erase board into the new system, or a chalk board, to incorporate the food reminders. I put a list on my menu plan, but I never see it because it’s stuck in my household planner. Speaking of which I could include a spot for the menu plan, too!

    [Reply]

  27. I posted today about teaching the kids about serving size. I have found it to save lots of waste when it comes to all that soggy cereal that gets thrown away!
    http://www.myhomemadehappiness.com/2011/05/soggy-cereal-and-other-reasons-why-you.html

    [Reply]

  28. Sarah Osborne says:

    I know I’m posting a year later…we are trying to cut our grocery bill down, and one of my big tactics has been NO food wasted. I hate eating leftovers, so I usually freeze whatever’s leftover that won’t be eaten the next day for a dinner a few weeks later, then it seems brand new again!

    [Reply]

  29. I hate it when we waste food. But that’s why I love having chickens. If I find food that has bugs in it, or it’s just too squishy in the fridge, I give it to the chickens and they don’t even mind the bugs. They LOVE extra bugs. Of course, I’m trying to get rid of everything that may have bugs, or bring bugs into the house. It’s a battle.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    You are SO right. We still put our extras (that make good compost) out in the chicken co-op, even though we had a sad, sad ending to our flock a few months ago. :(

    [Reply]

Share Your Thoughts

*