My 2019 New Year Resolution
How I Plan To Reduce Food Waste In Our Home
If you know me personally, I am sure you are expecting to hear something diet-related in this post. And while yes, you are correct, this is diet related, it’s not exactly what you think. As we move into 2019, I am resolving to greatly reduce our food waste in our home.
I am sick and tired of throwing away fresh produce. I always have lettuce, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, and squash on-hand, because I envision myself working all day then going home to create a from-scratch meal for my family. This happens approximately one time per week (if I am lucky). The other days are spent eating leftovers or ordering food to-go.
In a perfect world, my family would eat 95% of our meals prepared at home. I love a home-cooked meal, but as I become wiser and more aware, I realize that I cannot and do not have the time to meal prep AND get dinner on the table at a reasonable hour during the work week. I need all the help that I can get.
Enter, our local grocery store. They have done all of the work for me. Just look at these main entrees that I can purchase 2-3 of at a time.
If you haven’t been to your local grocers deli case, you are missing out. They have so many varieties of perfectly portioned, stuffed, rolled, and prepared foods ready to go. Sure, there might be a slightly higher price tag associated with these foods, however, they are still less expensive and healthier (in my opinion) than eating outside the home all of the time.
You cannot beat the time-saving aspect of purchasing foods in a ready-to-cook form. In the past, I have purchase bulk meats, only to have the sit in the freezer for way to long (who is with me on the hassle of preparing meat from a frozen state?) Plus, there is still the process of needing to then figure out a plan for the plain frozen meats. There is not enough Pinterest inspiration or time in a day to execute this seven days per week.
With my new plan for eating, I am surrendering to the thought that I have to do it all. It’s impossible to work, parent, cook, clean, foster relationships, and everything else in between, without something being sacrificed. So, I am leaving the meal prep up to my local market.
My husband can (with ease) pop these main entrees into the oven, and then dinner will be ready by the time I get home. I also scooped up several bags of frozen vegetable and canned goods to make various side dishes with. It is too difficult for me to maintain a ton of fresh product around the house and work through it all. Ultimately, too much of what I buy ends up in the trash.
I plan to shop once every four days. I will get only enough food to last us those four days. I am subscribed to the apps where our stores will do the shopping for me, so I will need to pick up my groceries twice per week. There is no loss of time here because in the past, I have spent this time going through drive-throughs in order to pick up dinner.
Ready-To-Eat grocery store meatloaf, frozen Brussel sprouts, fresh avocado and heirloom tomato salad. Dinner ready in 10 minutes, literally.
This method for “food prep” and shopping will greatly reduce the amount of snackable items in the house. Also, since I am already buying our foods in portions, I know an inadvertent side effect to this way of eating will be a bit of weight loss. If I make an entire crock pot of chicken, I often over-eat. If I only have one stuffed pork chop, that will have to be my one and only serving.
The following are the results that I expect to see after incorporating this method into our lives:
1) Fresh, delicious, home prepared meals daily, without too much thought about “what’s for dinner” (ain’t nobody got time for that!).
2) Less food waste since we will only be preparing what we plan to eat that night.
3) Less produce waste since I will no longer have a load of fresh produce on-hand to work with. I will only purchase a few fresh items each week to make a side salad to go with our main coarse and vegetable.
4) Weight loss due to the fact that we will be eating earlier in the day and will not have as much food on-hand. Quality over quantity!
What types of resolutions do you have as we move into the new year? I will be sure to report back on how my new method for eating and shopping goes!