Minimizing Food Waste

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 đŸ™‚

So here’s an example of a recent grocery list:

  1. Potatoes
  2. Onions
  3. Garlic
  4. Bananas
  5. Apples
  6. Oranges
  7. Mango
  8. spaghetti squash
  9. Coconut oil
  10. Vinegar
  11. Eggs (pasture raised)
  12. Lemon
  13. 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:

  1. The zest can be used in salad dressings and cooking.
  2. The juice I use for cooking and dressings.
  3. I also use the juice for cleaning and for sugaring.
  4. What’s left over after that gets nuked with some water to clean out the microwave.
  5. 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.

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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 đŸ™‚

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.

 

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6 thoughts on “Minimizing Food Waste

  1. I hate food waste. I was great at managing mine when I lived in a shared house – no packaging, eating most of my fridge items before grocery shopping etc. but my parents live for convenience, where I currently am living.
    I am hoping to subscribe to an organic fruit and veg box soon though, so I can start limiting my family’s food waste.

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  2. First off, I’d like to tell you that your zero waste blog is my favorite, and I’ve read most of the ones out there. Second, I would like to give a suggestion: grow an indoor veggie garden! I did a few weeks ago and all of my precious plants are in bloom, so it’s less produce for me to buy at the grocery store.
    Also, I just inherited a lot of furniture from the 1950’s because my grandma moved to a nursing home and we sold her house. I just had Salvation Army pick up a huge curbful of old possessions that were taking up space in my basement. It feels so freeing to donate stuff I don’t need and to enjoy the open space unoccupied. Have a lovely weekend!

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