"Fridge Shopping"?
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    Question "Fridge Shopping"?

    Anyone else go fridge shopping? As in, checking the fridge before a meal to see what's there to make a meal? Lately I've been doing it a lot. Groceries are so expensive I don't care how often I have to eat something to use it all up. I'll do it if it means not having to buy more groceries to cook.

    There is just hubby and I at home right now. This past week I made a menu plan. It was great! But we only ate two or three meals off it all week. The rest of the time we ate leftovers. I thought the Easter pork dinner we had was going to come out my ears, and I gave some of it away too. I gave two meals to a friend, and some for another friend heading out on the road the next day. Hubby and I had enough for four more meals after that! (including lunches).

    I'm finding I can cruise the fridge and come up with food to make stir fry or casserole almost any day of the week. That and a salad of some sort for lunches. I am feeling really blessed, but also am finding the fridge shopping is preventing food from going bad. We eat it before it gets there.

    How about you? Do you "fridge shop" for meals? And, on a side note, how many meals do you think you could get out of what's in your fridge right now?

    Right now mine is pretty empty, but there's ingredients for coleslaw in there, maybe a Caesar salad, certainly a Waldorf Salad, cabbage and quinoa soup (must put that on the menu), vegetarian wrap ingredients, hmm... I even have the ingredients for a fruit salad, which I just might do this evening for dessert.

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    Registered User alaska_tiger_36's Avatar
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    All the time! My goal for 2013 is to waste as little food as possible. Keeping close tabs on what is in the fridge had made a big difference in our food bill. We eat lots of leftovers and if we get tired of it I freeze it for work lunches or freeze it to add to a meal on another day. Or I will dehydrate it - boy has this lead to some interesting experimentation.

    We just got a bountiful basket yesterday so our fridge is full of fruit and vegetables - 2 weeks worth. I could make salad for all week ( I will do this tonight), cook asparagus for every meal all week (5# for 2 people), could make fruit salad, cut vegetable to snack on, fruit to take to work as a snack. I have over 1/2 of a spiral cut ham. I also have enough L/O for 3 work lunches. We have 3.5 dozen eggs too. If we had to - I think we could eat a week from the food we have in the fridge. Due to the lack of variety we might not be happy towards the end of the week but we could do it.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Every week before I go shopping I take a look at what is left in the fridge and work it into the next week's meals. This way I stay on top of the vegetables. I look at my meal plan, which I keep pretty vague (ie: "Monday - chicken, Tuesday - fish, Wed - chili") and fill in the details with what I have. (Monday - chicken, rice, broccoli)
    Also I regularly allow for a 'leftovers night' to use up stuff.

    I did the shopping Friday so my fridge is full of next week's meals and a couple leftover lunches. Counting what is in the freezer (which is not my stockpile, it's mostly leftovers and open packages of things like fish sticks and hot dogs and half bags of frozen vegs) I'd say we could eat for 3 weeks pretty easily, though we'd be out of fresh stuff in 10-12 days.

    Off the top of my head I have turkey cutlets, marinated chicken, some cheap steak, chili, soup, kielbasa, shrimp, deli turkey and cheese, frozen corn, peas, mixed veg, and butternut squash, gyro meat and pita, chinese pot stickers, puff pastry, pie crust, tater tots, carrots, asparagus, cabbage, apples, oranges, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, some cucumber....
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    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    Hubby is very talented in the look in the fridge and make amazing family meals out of those bits and pieces that would not have made a meal for one let alone one for the whole family.

    He also does fridge hunt and find meals for every lunch. He is very sad when it is almost empty and sandwhiches are the only thing to have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by imagine View Post
    Hubby is very talented in the look in the fridge and make amazing family meals out of those bits and pieces that would not have made a meal for one let alone one for the whole family.

    He also does fridge hunt and find meals for every lunch. He is very sad when it is almost empty and sandwhiches are the only thing to have.
    that is what hubs does everyday and that is lunch..
    cheese shreds, (mozerella, and cheddar)
    burrito shells
    lunchmeat and sliced cheese
    leftover chicken which is going to be chicken salad for lunch tomorrow
    left over pot roast..
    condiments and jellies and pickles

    no produce...and out of milk and oj...

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    Ever since I changed my grocery shopping to every two weeks, I am fridge shopping a lot on weekends when I have to tame the desire to go out to eat. I always cook a meal on Sunday night that will give me leftovers for a couple more meals. I feel so much more organized shopping every two weeks.

    Let see my fridge at the moment has grapes, bagels, cream cheese, a chicken casserole, cranberry sauce, pizza shells, shredded and sliced cheese, pizza sauce, pepperoni, tortilla's, salsa, sour cream, condiments, butter, drinks

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    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    We write what goes in the fridge on a white board that is one the fridge. It keeps the guys from standing with the fridge door open. I also pull all the stuff that is available to eat and put it on the counter if the meal is "fend for yourself" (ie, leftovers). The rule is that they have to eat what is one the counter before you open something else to eat.

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    Zakity, we call that Smorg Night at our place! Short for Smorgasbord. I used to tell the kids they could go to a restaurant and pay a lot for it and get food they may not like, or they could eat what they liked at home. Hubby and I have been having a lot of Smorg Nights lately.

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    I have started doing this a lot lately too peanut. Living off unemployment right now so trying not to waste a thing. Hubby likes leftovers for lunch so I try to make a little extra without going overboard unless it is something that freezes well ( it is just the 2 of us ) I will save leftovers now even if it is just a tiny bit and my favorite things to make out of all the ramdom veggie and meat bits are egg scrambles ( I make them for dinner with enough left over for hubbys lunch the next day ) calzones or big salads.

    I don't have tons of anything in the fridge right now except cheeses and eggs( have 3 chickens:-) I like it not so crammed full of stuff. It makes it easier to see what is in there and use everything up before it goes bad.

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    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peanut View Post
    How about you? Do you "fridge shop" for meals? And, on a side note, how many meals do you think you could get out of what's in your fridge right now?
    Great thread! This is what we do on a daily/weekly basis. This helps us cut back on food waste and prevent science experiments if you KWIM?

    What we currently have in our fridge:
    * fruits & veggies
    * eggs
    * various cheeses
    * milk
    * leftovers: ham, grilled steak & grilled taters, panko drumsticks, chicken stew
    * salad
    * bread
    * cake & pie
    * hummus
    * yoghurts
    * plethora of condiments

    I think we have about a week's worth of variations available before we even begin to play the plannedover's game in terms of lunches & dinners. That's just stuff from the fridge...add in pantry and we're laughing. I think I'm gonna make my own version of Pho for lunch - chicken broth, noodles, toss in some greens from the salad and thinly slice some of the leftover steak

    I've started to learn that I prefer to have an emptier fridge vs one thats overstocked with 'stuff'.

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    I don't have tons of anything in the fridge right now except cheeses and eggs( have 3 chickens:-) I like it not so crammed full of stuff. It makes it easier to see what is in there and use everything up before it goes bad.
    Ooo... Cheese and eggs! Sounds like a quiche is in order. If you don't want to do a pie crust, shred potatoes, dry them off, mix them with a little oil (any fat works - butter or coconut oil or bacon grease, etc), pat them into your pan, and then bake them until they start to brown slightly (think it was like 10 min maybe). There is a version of the potato crust in the Tightwad Gazette books. Add in little bits of whatever you have on hand that sounds like it would go well in it.

    We have three chickens also and we are getting three eggs a day. We are trying out a quiche this week to help use up some eggs. The guys used to like them, but that was a few years ago.

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    Or make a crustless quiche! Just coat the pan with oil and pour in the filling. Or, if you must have a filling, how about some nuts ground up fine and mixed with a bit of flour and fat of some sort? All kinds of options! One thing I like about "fridge shopping" is it encourages creativity in the kitchen.

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    Registered User lwlynch's Avatar
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    i do it all the time.. i hate any kinda of waste.. our new favorite, is i take every veggie from fridge, spinach, add an onion, garlic and put in a pot and boil down in about an inch of water..and then puree the total and add a can of tomatoes (if there wasnt any in the fridge) then mix with meat and about 3 cups of oatmeal and make single mini meatloaves..the kids eat this all the time, gosh if they only knew what was in them..

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    Quote Originally Posted by lwlynch View Post
    i do it all the time....
    Me too! And I don't think I would tell what sort of things I have mixed/combo'd and had for a meal........anything to clean out the fridge.

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    ours is pretty bare as we just got back in town. not a whole lot in there...i need to hit the grocery store! lol

    we have 2 1/2 full containers of hummus, lettuce, carrots, garlic cloves, 1 apple, 1 vanilla greek yogurt, white wine, 1/2 bag of shredded cheese, 4 eggs....this does not include the freezers which are all about 1/2 full (we have three)

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