FIFO on Steroids - How to Not Waste Your Food

For a while now, I have not been proud of how much food we waste. I do FIFO all the time, but still  end up throwing out soggy cucumbers or giving the dog Tuesday night's sweet potatoes or forgetting about a pork chop wrapped in foil. I waste food.

Food is money. Cold hard cash. When we throw our food away we are putting our hard earned dollars in the trash! It pains me.

I recently read The Nightingale, a novel, historical fiction, set in WWII. The main characters are French women living under Nazi oppression. My favorite parts of the book were about how they used up all the little bits of food, letting nothing go to waste. Their food rations were painfully modest, so naturally they used everything.

I so admire the ability to be frugal, creative, and not wasteful in the kitchen. I've been working to improve but still missing the mark so many weeks as I throw away more food in the trash.

So the other day when I found this post by Kendra the Lazy Genius, I had an a-ha moment, a revelation. I was totally blown away and inspired.

Kendra says...

"Before you plan and before you shop, prep. "

FIFO on steroids style.

What? Why have I never ever thought to do this before? In one big session. The idea is before you plan your next week's meals and before you make a grocery list and before you shop, you prep - everything that's lingering on its final days in your fridge, get it out, chop, roast, eat. And then make a list so you know what you've got.

Last week, I gave this concept a try. I washed, chopped, cooked, grated, froze, labeled, and reconfigured our meals so we could eat up all this perfectly good food. Once I got started I was amazed at all the food we had. Amazed!


Here's what I ended up with...

spinach - from the farmers market, too fibrous and bitter for salads - I cooked it and froze it for soups.

zucchini - grated and froze to later make zucchini bread

squash - chopped and roasted - side for dinner

leftover baked sweet potatoes - removed peels and diced for a side dish or to give to Caroline

leftover red potatoes - roasted, side dish or perfect with scrambled eggs

pineapple, strawberries, peaches - cut up and put in containers for easy snacks

chocolate chip cookie dough to keep in fridge

I have never done this large and serious of a food round up before planning and shopping for my next week of meals. 

I can't wait to make this a regular thing. I seriously think this will solve some of my grocery budget woes.

Do you do this? Do you waste food?


A List + Links

1- Not long after my last post, I came down with strep throat. I do not recommend getting strep as an adult. I was out of commission for a full 5 days. Since recovering, I see the world in a new light. So thankful for my health and ability to do all the daily things that seem so boring!

2 - Tomato pie! Oh my stars. I made this recipe using this crust for dinner last night. It was out of this world good. Where has it been all my life?

3 - Now is the time to shop rock bottom summer sales. For the past few years, I have bought a few kid's clothing items in July for next summer. Things are definitely picked over in stores and online, but if you can find a few things you like in the right sizes, the prices are really great.

4 - Yoga. I do yoga now, and I love it. I like to mix it in with Pilates, barre workouts, and walks. Mostly, I've been using Yoga with Adrienne videos on YouTube. It is truly therapeutic, and it feels so good stretch and move.

5 - I took Stephen out for a date on Saturday night. It was my idea, and I called our wonderful neighbor-babysitter to come over and keep our kids. We went to dinner, and then I talked him in to getting some decaf cafe au laits on the way home. It was so nice.

6 - I'm swooning over this Madewell dress. And it has nearly all 5 star reviews which is super rare.

7 - I don't have an official capsule wardrobe right now. But I'm basically wearing a smaller, edited version of my spring capsule. I'm paying close attention to what is working, what's lacking, and I recently filled out Unfancy's new wardrobe planner. What a great tool!

8 - I know it's cliche, but I'm taking a Facebook and Instagram break for a little while. A week? I'm not sure how long yet. I have to do this to reset my habits every now and then. Social media is just there and endless and so easy. Tired me + a little bored me + constantly interrupted by kids me can all too easily default all my free time FB and Insta.

9 - This bracelet made by The Jones Market, just got it in the mail yesterday. I love it! I wanted something to give a little pop of color to some very plain outfits. The thing I noticed most of all was how comfortable it is to wear. Caroline loves it too! This company specializes in jewelry that is  mom/baby friendly.

10 - I want to start using my real camera more. The pictures are so much better than phone photos! This book looks inspiring.

What are you up to? What are you in to? How is your summer coming along?

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