That's just gross. Wait. How much do I toss out? Hopefully not that much but as soon as you start thinking about waste, you start noticing just how wasteful you are. In fact, 40% of all edible food in the United States gets tossed. Brian and I are determined to minimal-ize our garbage! Here's how we just eat it.
Where does one obtain all this excess food? Ah yes. The grocery store. Before we go grocery shopping we take of stock of what we have. That means opening the fridge (and freezer), and all of the cupboards that house food items. (CONFESSION: we only have two said cupboards, making inventory easy).
Also we eat a meal before leaving for the grocery store. That way we (let's say Brian) avoid overbuying foods that we (let's say Josey) won't even eat before they spoil. Avoiding impulse buying we also make it a priority to buy smarter. Smarter means a little bit of prep work and a lot a bit of self-control. Make a list and stick to it OR make a budget and stick to it. We don't like to spend over 50$ when visiting the store, so we make cuts if our bill is adding up. We buy the things that we actually are going to eat that day, or before the end of the week. If you think you already do this then keep track of things that you don't tend to eat but just like buying. You'll know you don't tend to eat them if they are in the garbage. enough said.
Buying or cooking in bulk? Make sure that you actually have mouths to eat your feast OR use your freezer - just be sure to eat what's in your freezer. Before you move to a new house is preferable.
Planning out your meals for the week doesn't have to be some obsessive points-counting, diet crashing-endeavor. Just say to yourself (before you go to the grocery store), "what might I eat this week?" Think about when you'll be home and for which meals and stick to it.
Need a challenge to kick start your food-wasting-minimalism? Try these:
- Don't go shopping until you're out of food. It's called a challenge for a reason. That doesn't include condiments or spices, but your not allowed to buy those items either until you use up what you have.
- Keep a list of the items you throw out. That means anytime you don't make it into the Clean Plate Club it gets written down. We keep our list on the fridge, as an omen- I mean, reminder.
- Try to go three months spending ONLY $100 per person in your household on groceries. Eating out at restaurants is what cheating looks like, just sayin'.
- Watch the documentary Just Eat It. (trailer below)
Brian and Josey