frugal living

Frugal Living Tips – Fruits & Vegetable Waste


 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. 


  • alyssa

    Hey from Dealy Os! This is a great tip! I’ve posted something similar on my blog before. I know my family tends to waste produce because I don’t tend to use the food unless I take care of it right away so I’m starting to freeze some if I get a great deal and whenever possible, I cut up and prepare everything and put it in a storage container so that it is ready for any time we need it like you mentioned.

  • Jennifer WIlliams

    I have frozen my vegetables for quite some time now. I dice peppers and onions then throw them in a bag, they are easy to break apart and throw in whatever dish you are making, squash’s and mushrooms are my other favorites to freeze, I usually sautee them and throw them in with pasta so it is easy to pull them out and cook without thawing. I will do this with fresh herbs as well, and left over broths, put it in ice trays then once frozen put it in containers. Sometimes I think I might just be to frugal!!

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