Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Stop throwing away your hard earned money

How much food in your refrigerator or cupboards do you throw away each week? Each month? Cooking with fresh and organic ingredients can potentially mean more waste if you don’t plan well. You may have good intentions when you buy that broccoli or those green beans or the breadcrumbs without hydrogenated oils to preserve them. But if you don’t have a plan for those beautiful crisp green beans chances are they will become limp and slimy and will end up in the trash.

But even the best planners will end up with extra ingredients. Maybe you needed those breadcrumbs for a recipe but only used half and if you are not paying attention they will end up expiring before you know it. If you have jars full of opened condiments such as bbq sauce, olives, sun dried tomatoes or salsas, use them up. They weren’t cheap. Those condiments do eventually expire. I’m sure we can all find opened condiments in the fridge that have been there for quite some time past their life expectancy.

So before each trip to the store take a look at what you have in the cupboard and fridge and then design recipes around items that you need to use up. Get in the habit of really knowing what you have. Maybe you bought broccoli for one recipe but you did not use it all and you only have a small bit left. So find a recipe that only calls for a small amount such as a mixed vegetable stir fry.

Following these three simple tips will help eliminate food waste and therefore potentially saving you hundreds of dollars a year.

1. Keep your pantry, fridge and freezer clean and organized.
2. Know what items are getting close to expiring.
3. Plan meals based on items that you have that need to be used up.

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