Food waste can be the king of all waste for some…I should know, I used to throw away/discard food all the time and never thought twice about it. That is, until I started becoming a minimalist and zero-waster.
Simplify. Yes, simplify, that is the key to eliminating food waste. We all have those 5-10 dishes that we make incredibly well and are our go-to meals. I have found that by keeping my shopping to those ingredients for those dishes I have generated a lot less waste.
“but Candice, isn’t eating the same thing boring?”
That’s the thing, I buy the same staple ingredients, but that doesn’t mean that I have to use them in the same way every time I cook with them.
Let me give you an example…
A staple in my diet is potatoes, whether they be purple, white, or red. But I know at least seven or eight different ways to cook the potatoes, and that way I have one ingredient but I can use it a bunch of different ways. Whether you mash, roast, fry, put them in a stew, etc. It doesn’t matter, it’s one thing that I buy that does many different things.
Another brilliant example is coconut oil. This stuff is literally a miracle, it can be used for cooking, baking, in toothpaste, as a lotion, moisturizer, conditioner, etc. It does a million things, but I am only buying one jar at the grocery store.
Basically I buy things that can do double duty 🙂
So here’s an example of a recent grocery list:
- spaghetti squash
- Coconut oil
- Eggs (pasture raised)
- And usually some sort of meat (local, pasture raised and grass fed.)
This may not seem like much, but I know how to use each ingredient in a few ways.Not only does this decrease food waste (because you know you are going to use your ingredients) but it also saves you money, because you aren’t buying a bunch of things that you don’t need/won’t use/ will go bad before use.
How I use a lemon:
- The zest can be used in salad dressings and cooking.
- The juice I use for cooking and dressings.
- I also use the juice for cleaning and for sugaring.
- What’s left over after that gets nuked with some water to clean out the microwave.
- And lastly, anything left over hoes in the compost.
Another way I cut back on food waste is by eating at least 90% of what is in my fridge/pantry before I make my next grocery trip.
Yep, you read that right, before.
This cuts back on waste and it makes things interesting because I end up with a few random ingredients left at the end of each week that I get to play around with to make a new dish. Hence the “it doesn’t get boring” part 🙂
Lastly, I always compost any food scraps that I have left over at the end. So 0% of my food ends up in the trash can.