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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This thread always helped keep me focused on odds and ends and I have really fallen off the wagon recently.

If anyone wants to join me in sharing how you are using or re-purposing what's in your fridge, freezer or pantry so that nothing goes to waste please feel free to jump in!

For me, because everything here seems to have gotten so out of control over the past few weeks, I just couldn't keep up with menu planning, cooking and using what we had so Sunday I just sucked it up and did a full fridge clean out. I tossed a LOT of food that had either gone bad, was not suitable for freezing or knew I couldn't get to in the coming days. So now, I start fresh...

Sunday morning I used the last of a Costco-size carton of eggs that were pushing the limit and made scrambled and added a small green pepper. We didn't finish them off so I had more for breakfast this morning with enough left over for breakfast tomorrow.

Sunday lunch I finished off the last of the turkey lunchmeat.

Sunday dinner I used up one almost empty bottle of BBQ sauce, cooked enough beet greens from the beets we pulled from the garden for a small side dish and put the rest in the dehydrator. Plan on making my own super-green-vitamin powder thingy to add to soups and stews this winter. Husband also grilled a huge red bell that went in to the freezer.

For lunch today I had the last two small pieces of pork tenderloin leftover from last week as well as the last tiny bit of taco meat and the last tiny bit of shredded cheese from a baggie in the fridge. Not a great lunch but it didn't go to waste.

Tonight I used up one of three open bottles of balsamic dressing (see above about out of control!) and marinated some chicken (a spin on a balsamic chicken recipe that I hope works). Caramelized one onion and added one going-soft tomato to the onion to mix with the chicken. Will also add one can of diced tomatoes that has a small dent in it so I can get it out of the pantry. Chicken and veggies will be served over polenta that uses cream cheese to use up part of an open block from the fridge (new recipe and hope we like it).

This morning I did toss the last little bit of store bought potato salad that we didn't finish last night.
 

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Looks like a good start.

I try to keep on top of stuff but I know how stuff slides to the back or ends up under something else in the vegetable drawer. I find labeling invaluable. I use cheap masking tape on reuseable containers for leftovers, especially what goes in the freezer. That makes it easier for DH to find leftovers for lunch, too.

About once a week I take a look through the fridge and make a list of what needs to be eaten. I do the same with pantry. Then I plan meals.
 
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I'm working hard in general on not wasting food and especially during covid because I hear about shortages.
So, I check the pantry stock and get out stuff I intend to finish before I buy anything more in that category (with a caveat for allowing an early stock up if there is an incredible sale). Like right now I have cracked wheat and coconut flour out on the "eat me" shelf and no buying more grains/flours until those are used up. Sure, I'd rather have wheat-flour pancakes but not until I eat up the coconut flour. Those pancakes are good too. No oatmeal until I eat up the cracked wheat.

I have jarred duck and a friend at work gives me smoked salmon now and then, a stock of dried beans. So, not proteins/nutbutters until that stuff is at least half gone.

with veggies...no buying anything similar to what I have in the garden.

I've seen less food waste with this. Not zero because one dish was not edible. Sometimes I try a new flavor and it is beyond bad.
 

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I'm also preparing less food in general. Over the years DH has cut down how much he eats at dinner. Where I used to prepare 2-3 chicken breasts we are now satisfied splitting one, or maybe having one left over to be used for chicken salad later in the week. I make smaller portions of sides, too. I used to cook a lot and have lots of leftovers, but a lot of it also went to waste. DH barely eats lunch these days.

If I cook something huge, like a pot roast then the leftovers get portioned out and frozen right away. I don't leave it in the fridge hoping someone will eat it before it goes bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm doing good and getting back in my groove.

Yesterday I finished off the scrambled eggs and bell pepper for breakfast. Finished off the BBQ chicken and one lone hamburger bun for lunch. Used up the second half of the bag of coleslaw, made a fresh batch and we finished that off between lunch and dinner.

Last night I baked chicken thighs and made some flavored rice. Ate half the leftover thigh today for lunch (they were huge!) and finished off the last of the rice. We ate all the veggies.

Smoothie for breakfast this morning and used up the last frozen banana in a bag (there's another bag).

Tonight we'll have leftover balsamic chicken with polenta. There's still quite a bit of polenta and I don't think we'll finish it off so maybe I'll fry some up or do something else with it. Maybe a sweet and savory breakfast with an egg and maple syrup. Still debating.
 

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Polenta with cheese and a soft fried egg is a favorite for breakfast.

It also freezes well for later.
 
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