Through these frugal living tips, I have a confession to make. Does this picture look familiar? I wonder how many times you’ve pulled rotten vegetables and fruit from your fridge. Too many times I’ve bought vegetables and let them rot because I have forgotten all about them. Not only am I not eating them because I forget that they are there but also I don’t plan my meals around the vegetables I purchase because I am a spontaneous shopper.
I make a mental note of what I’ll be making that week but I rarely if ever write a menu. I also like to buy vegetables that I won’t eat in hopes that I or the kids will miraculously like the egg plant that was on sale for 10 for $10 (my husband actually does like eggplant but I forgot to fry it up).
I was reading a Frugal living tips article published in NYTimes last November and ran accross this finding that I felt was worth sharing. NY Times states that 40 percent of food waste occurs in the home. That’s insane! That’s a lot of money thrown in the garbage every week!!
To get an idea of how fast waste adds up, here’s a breakdown of what I just threw away. Money that could have been spent on something else.
Cucumber, .50 cents each
Eggplant on sale for $1
Sweet Potato $2 (there was 4 rotten, not pictured)
Most people buy vegetables weekly, so say you are wasting $3.50 every week for 52 weeks of the year! That’s $182 dollars a year on wasted vegetables. Most people waste much more than that! What could you use that $182+ on?
Here are some ideas I came up with to remind myself to use up the vegetables I have on hand.
Sticky note on the fridge with the type and amount of vegetables I have on hand
Pre cut vegetables up so they are ready to be thrown into what I’m making.
· Purchase smaller quantities and only the one’s that I’m going to actually use that week.
Freeze immediately or blanch to preserve their freshness. Most vegetables won’t lose any flavor from freezing or blanching to use later. Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and radishes don’t freeze well.
Place into green bags. These help remove gases in the fridge that cause fruits and vegetables to go bad faster.