what's your food philosophy?

i admit it, i am a terrible food waster. it's really hard when you live alone to eat everything before it goes bad. but i end up throwing away half a chicken, or a half a bag of salad, or most of a loaf of bread cause they get old! certain things never go bad, like ice cream of course. but i want to be better! i guess i just buy on impulse, and then eat what i feel like eating, i don't really try to eat what i have.

i had a roommate who at any given time, would have cabinets full of food, 4 boxes of cereal, 20 cans of veggies, all kinds of stuff that would never diminish. that never made sense to me. she was just one person!!! maybe it's a class thing?

so, are you a food waster too? do you always have a lot of food around? or maybe you only shop when everything's gone? plan everything in advance? something else?
I rarely waste food. Growing up poor will do that to you Left overs get reheated for dinner or lunch. Left over baked chicken gets made into chicken soup. Sometimes turning left overs into something new makes it not feel like left overs. I hated canned veggies, so if I can't get fresh I get frozen. I do keep my pantry stocked. I buy on sales only, so everything I get I stock up on. I actually have an extra freezer for my frozen veggies, meats, and make ahead items. If you think about how much money you are wasting by letting that much food go to waste you would **** yourself
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 41,035
Yeah I don't like to waste anything either.
And I'm a recycling fool as well
plastic, aluminum, boxes...
I rarely waste food. Growing up poor will do that to you
Originally Posted by internetchick
I rarely waste food. Growing up poor will do that to you
Originally Posted by internetchick
Originally Posted by medussa
Double yep. We were dared to waste food... it was like a crime in my household.

It's just my husband and I, and we have to work hard at it because we have the same issue. We use leftovers for other things, at internetchick had mentioned. I also do keep my kitchen fairly stocked... I keep things that we eat a lot of on hand most of the time and then shop weekly for whatever of those we're almost out of, as well as fresh veggies/fruits, meats, etc. I buy big things of meat and divide them into 2 servings, put them in baggies and then into a huge baggie all together in the freezer for meals. I plan on what we will eat sometimes, and make a point to do regular "inventory" of the cabinets, freezer, fridge and see what we need to use up.
I rarely waste food. Growing up poor will do that to you
Originally Posted by internetchick
Originally Posted by medussa

although it is hard sometimes, with certain items. My husband just doesn't eat the same stuff as I do. And I can't eat a loaf of french bread all by myself. I buy the small ones when they are available, but they aren't always avail. (freezing French Bread just doesn't work for me.)Same thing with cereal. ugh. I always end up wasting cereal. I eat the same dinner usually 3 nights in a row. But it's cool, because I'll eat something and the next few nights, I crave the same thing. (probably because I've been living this way for so long..) My stomach has adjusted to constant leftovers, I guess.
I try not to waste food, but I don't feel obligated to finish my plate when eating. I'll throw it out if there isn't a substantial amount left, or pack the rest for leftovers.

I do keep a pretty good stock of non-perishable items and usually pick up fresh ingredients like veggies during the week for dinners. If I buy those ahead, I better have a menu planned for the week; otherwise, they will go bad.
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I've never lived alone. With a family of 6, I work hard to keep our food wastage down to a bare minimum. We waste very little. I only make enough side dishes for one meal, so that usually works out well. Sometimes meat is leftover, so I'll try to use it some other way for another meal. I've gotten very good at "stretching". Any meat left after the stretching process, goes to the dog.
I have a hearty appetite, so food rarely goes to waste.

I don't have a ton of stuff around. I'm more of a daily/few times a week shopper (got in that habit in Europe) since I am not a big meal planner - more of an impulse type. I keep staples at home though.
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cooking and freezing is great for variety and yet keeping food waste to a minimum. Usually I cook so there is enough leftovers for hubby (hearty appetite) to take to lunch the next day and enough for us to have at home. Sometimes there's a bit more so I put it in the freezer. So days that there are not leftovers or for a quick weekend lunch there are individual portions in the freezer of yummy food.

I also freeze desserts in individual portions, bread (yagotta just sprinkle some water on that frozen loaf and put it 10 min at 450 deg, like fresh) as well as tortillas, pitas, etc. If plans change at the last minute and I don't use my fresh produce I wash, cut and freeze for use in future recipes.
I could never waste food like that, I think I'd keel over and die!

...It's a siggie.
I live alone and I don't cook so the only thing that may get wasted is fruit which for some reason I have to make myself eat even though I like it. I have some watermelon that needs to go in the trash now.

I only hate throwing that out because it's the precut kind which is more expensive so I'm really wasting my money. Iíve never felt obligated to finish my plate but I generally donít put a lot on my plate to begin with.

If you are finding yourself throwing away an entire half a chicken, you should start only cooking (If that's is what you are doing) chicken parts or Cornish hens and just making sure you eat the rest the next day.
ya know, i grew up poor too. i do generally eat my leftovers, but not more than once. maybe that's the problem? i get distracted and i really can't eat something i don't feel like eating.

my reaction to the way i grew up is different. i really hated eating the same thing every single day. you couldn't get me to eat ramen noodles if you paid me. or the same thing over and over unless i really want it. also i guess i think if i have enough to waste, then i'm doing really well. messed up, but true.

i'm impressed that people are able to be so careful about wasting food. there is hope for me i think, thanks for the tips. i've never tried freezing things, except for meat.
My husband is a menu planning fiend. He knows just how much of everything to buy for the two of us, then cooks according to the plan. He makes just enough for dinner that we have enough left over for a lunch each.

It's pretty damned amazing to me, non-cook that I am.

Rock on with your bad self.


Be excellent to each other. ~ Abraham Lincoln

I really envy people who can plan meals, grocery shop, cook, freeze, store, etc. etc.

I live alone...single. I hate buying things like a loaf of bread or a bag of lettuce or a big bundle of bananas or a bag of bagels...half of it ALWAYS goes to waste. Which is a waste of money and makes me feel bad. Plus I barely have any freezer storage.

SO I buy and eat a lot of things like frozen dinners, canned soups, and frozen pizzas. I buy on impulse depending on what I'm hungry for. And I eat out a lot...Wendy's is great...the dollar menu gets me a cup of chilli, a side salad, and a potato for 3 bucks!! :P No waste!
... a big bundle of bananas ...
Originally Posted by Krazyblondegurl
You can always tear off one banana and buy it. I will do that if the bundles are too big. There's no rule saying they have to stay in big bunches.
... a big bundle of bananas ...
Originally Posted by Krazyblondegurl
You can always tear off one banana and buy it. I will do that if the bundles are too big. There's no rule saying they have to stay in big bunches.
Originally Posted by internetchick
That's why I like Trader Joe's way of buying bananas; 19 cents per banana (29 for organic). I can buy just one without a big deal about it.
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From an early age my parents taught me not to waste food so I try my darndest not too. When I was living at home everything was stocked all the time and we had more than enough. I still didn't waste food if I could help it. Since being on my own I pay a lot more attention to what I spend and I don't have money to burn anyway so I only buy a little at a time and eat a good 85% of it before I buy more.

Maybe it's cheaper for you to eat out more often than cooking your meals. If you're wasting half a chicken that could really add up over time.
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As much as I try not to, I do waste food more than I should.

Need to work on doing better - especially with the fresh things that spoil quickly.

I cleaned out my pantry a few weeks ago and gave some dry goods to the local food bank so they wouldn't expire unused.
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The freezer is my best friend. I freeze everything.
I keep big ziploc bags in the freezer and any leftover veggies go in one bag, meat in another - for soup & stew making. I freeze bread, rolls, buns. Anything that I can't or don't want to freeze goes to the dogs, cats, or birds.
I keep my cupboards full - canned veggies, fruits, tuna, salmon, soups; pasta, rice, tea, flour sugar, powdered milk, cereal; paper products.
I like knowing that no matter when payday is there's always something in the house to eat, for just me or for unexpected company.
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