This month in the Eat Well, Spend Less series, we’re looking at our food goals for 2012, and my big goal is to waste less – not just in the kitchen, but in everything! You can read more about my thoughts and plan in my 5 Simple Ways To Save More By Wasting Less on Springs Bargains.
The kitchen is definitely one of the areas I – and I would guess many of you – tend to waste a lot. From leftovers that got moldy to just flat out laziness in using all edible parts of the food I purchase, there are a ton of ways that I regularly waste food (and therefore, money) in the kitchen.
With rising grocery costs and less and less time to shop around for the best deals on groceries, I can’t ignore my bad habits in the kitchen anymore. Here’s what I’m doing in the kitchen to waste less in 2012:
Get rid of the food that I will never use.
I wrote about this in 5 Ways Getting Rid Of Stuff Will Save You Money. I had a few items in my cupboards that were giving me a guilt trip every time I looked at them. I thought about the money I’d spent on those rice paper wrappers that I now knew, after they spent three years in my cabinet, I would never use.
It seems dramatic, but those stupid rice paper wrappers were hampering my creativity in the kitchen, so I got rid of them and I feel so much better when I open my cabinets now! I’m so much more inspired to make the most out of what I have once I got rid of the items that I knew, realistically, I was never going to use. I’m seriously wasting less because I threw a few items away.
Only purchase food I have a specific plan for.
When I walk into an ethnic market, I get so inspired to cook new foods that I throw things in my cart that I really don’t have a clue how to cook. Or, I’ll see an ingredient that I’ve recently seen in a recipe and think “oh, I should buy that so I can try that recipe!”
Yeah. And then it goes home with me and sits in my pantry forever because it was an impulse purchase that I really had no plan for how to use it.
I’m making it a goal to only purchase foods – especially unfamiliar foods – that I have a specific purpose for.