Food Waste Friday: Pantry/Fridge/Freezer Clean Out

I don’t know about you but my pantry is a disaster. It is a pretty big pantry so I can’t just take everything out. Sometimes I’ll take out 1 or 2 shelves worth but I can only do that when my kids are sleeping. Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying to clean and organize little by little. Yesterday I tossed some old and crusty marshmallows that were hidden behind real food. I’m guess they were there since last Christmas when my big kids would have hot cocoa. A couple of new potatoes were found, those little guys are just too easy to misplace. They were shriveled, ewww. I also had to toss 1 small onion and a small bag of shallots that I had gotten on clearance a while ago.

I was able to give away a few things that hadn’t expired but that we were not going to be eating. I did have to throw away an unopened bottle of expired barbecue sauce. It wasn’t really up to our new standards of real food so we wouldn’t have eaten it but it’s too bad I couldn’t give it to someone who would have liked it.

We have been eating a ton of fresh produce but I did have some sliced bell peppers that got moldy (they looked much worse in person than in the picture). The good news about those is that I picked them up from the clearance produce sections so it was only $1 for three bell peppers and an onion. Something very odd happened too, I bought a new package of pita’s from Trader Joe’s on Monday and by Thursday they were covered in mold, the “best by” date was Friday so I’m guessing the temperatures were just too warm. I’m still bummed about those pita’s though.

I’ve also been cleaning out the freezer. Yes there was still some meat in the deep recesses of the freezer. I packed up a few things for a friend and tossed a few things. My freezer seems much happier now and so do I. It’s a lot easier to get things in and out. I still have more organization to do but not today.

Waste cost money. Everything I had thrown away was something I had spent money on. I estimate the produce I threw away cost about $2 and the pita’s another $2. I could have taken those pita’s back but it would be out of my way and probably cost me more in the long run.

It’s hard to know what the freezer stuff cost because I haven’t bought meat in so long I don’t really know how much it cost originally. It was taking up precious space though. Meat definitely cost more than produce so I know it was a lot.

When you throw food away do you think of what it cost you? I do. If it’s leftovers or something I cooked I think about the cost of the food, the cost of my time cooking it, and the cost of the next meal that will have to replace it because we didn’t use it wisely. I know I’m a weirdo!

How did you do this week? Is it time for a pantry/fridge/freezer clean out at your house too?

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Food Waste Friday: Triple Berry Failure

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Not a pretty picture! I made this Triple Berry Bread at the beginning of the week using strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. unfortunately all of those lovely berries gave this great a weird texture that was extremely soggy in some places (mostly the bottom) and a little dry in others. It didn’t taste bad just not good enough to keep eating. My 1 year old would have eaten all of it but I make it with whole wheat flour which he can’t have.

The other raspberries in the package were a little squishy and a few were moldy and were tossed. I also failed to use an avocado before it was too late. 🙁

I am happy that we have been eating a ton of produce. I love nectarines, peaches, and plums this time of year.

Next time I get inspired to make a Triple Berry Bread I think I’ll bake it in a loaf pan so if it doesn’t taste great I can always come up with a n eggless french toast and top it with a berry syrup.

Do you ever fail in the kitchen? I’m still trying to think of a way to use this bread. Maybe I should dice it and make a “healthier” bread pudding.

Visit the Frugal Girl for more info on Food Waste Friday!

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Food Waste Friday: Still Eating on Purpose

On Meal Plan Monday I talked about eating on purpose. When I plan and eat on purpose I have a lot less waste. Did you realize that food waste cost you money? If you paid for the food then don’t eat it that is essentially throwing money away.

I had to thow out a head of cauliflower this week. Parts of it looked ok but it smelled bad, and I’m not talking about a normal bad smell, this was definitely moldy bad. I also threw out several pounds of potatoes that were hidden in my pantry. My pantry is a disaster area right now, full of food that can’t be found. My crisper drawer camouflaged some baby carrots that were slimy. I reached my hand in the bad to pull out the 4 or 5 that were in there only to be grossed out.

I’ve also been sticking to my meal plan pretty well. Last night our plans changed when my husband had to work late. I went in the kitchen to make dinner then decided everyone could fend for themselves, we were all happy, leftovers were eaten, and there was very little clean up.

I do have some tomatoes, mushrooms, and peaches that I need to watch carefully. They are all ok right now but none of them are foods that my household really loves. My best bet is probably to freeze them for future use.

This week I was tossing the food waste throughout the week so I don’t have pictures of it but I do have pictures (taken on my phone) of a few of the things we ate this week.

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We also had a pretty delicious stir fry that my teenagers wouldn’t even try. They said, “no meat and no eggs, what’s in it, just vegetables?” Exactly! That got me thinking of some new house rules, like if you don’t try what I make then you can’t eat anything else. That isn’t official yet but I’m thinking about it.

How did you do this week on food waste? Did you eat intentionally this week? I did much better but I still have plenty of room for improvement.

To see other bloggers concerned about food waste check out The Frugal Girl every Friday, you can even post about waste and link up too.

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Food Waste Friday: I’m Back

Food waste is never pretty but this picture is especially “unpretty” and I’ll have you know that I had much more food waste than this. I haven’t posted any food waste reports lately partly because it’s summer and we are out of our normal routine and because I’ve had a lot of food waste. Maybe I’ve had more food waste because we are out of routine; I’m cooking for more people less often and enjoying my time with our big kids. In the picture above you will find 3 whole wheat pancakes and canned refried beans that got forgotten in the back of the fridge, some icky strawberries, a tiny bit of hummus from a hummus trio, and some Mac and Faux Cheese (yes I know those are not macaroni noodles).

I also had to toss some oranges that got moldy, part of an onion, and I’m sure quite a bit of other produce. I think there are some potatoes in the pantry that are too far gone but I haven’t investigated those (plausible deniability).

I have been avoiding buying anything that will go bad too quickly especially greens.

So did you miss my Food Waste Friday updates? I told a friend I was thinking of discontinuing them and she said she loved them. Did you know you can read about other bloggers attempts to eliminate food waste and in the process save money and the environment? Well you can, just check out Kristen’s blog at The Frugal Girl.

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Food Waste Friday: Quinoa and Lentils…Gasp

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I can not believe these did not get eaten! It is sad, really sad. The lentils were going to be in several dishes almost two weeks ago during my “make your own” week. They didn’t quite stack up, I’m not sure why the flavor was off but they just sat in the fridge.

I had planned to put them in the freezer but I never did. 🙁

I should not have cooked so many, lesson learned. Oddly enough they look and smell ok but they are two weeks old and I don’t want to chance it. Plus my fridge is pretty full!

I am happy that we have been eating a lot of produce. And in a little under two weeks we will have two extra teenagers in the house, I don’t expect to have near as many leftovers then.

How did you do this week with food waste? Check out the Frugal Girl for more food waste inspiration!

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