Zero Food Waste, Week 16: Don’t Overdo It For Guests (plus frittata recipe)

zero food waste challenge 2015Another way I’ve often both overspent and wasted food in the past: hosting dinner parties! I have had a bad habit of overestimating how much we’re going to eat, and doing an entire separate shopping trip based on the dinner. I don’t want to be inhospitable!

Most recently, I had someone for dinner the night before leaving for a week. So I determined that I had to do better than in the past: I had to do minimal extra shopping, and cook exactly enough for us to eat in one meal because I wasn’t going to be in town to eat leftovers.

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Zero Food Waste 2015, Week 15: Clear Perishables Before Travel (plus awesome brownies)

zero food waste challenge 2015I’m traveling for work again next week — leaving on Sunday evening and returning the following Sunday — so meeting my no-food-waste goal involves clearing out all the perishables in the house before then. Even though I have been trying to buy exactly what I need, I usually do have some carryover from week to week; for example, when I went shopping on Saturday I already had an onion, some apples, a lemon, yogurt, eggs, and cheddar cheese that fit the “perishables” description.

I’m not too worried about the yogurt, which lasts forever (in fact, I bought more so I can have one in the fridge at work) or the eggs, ditto (I go through phases with eggs and in an off phase, it can take me over a month to finish a dozen; I’ve never had a problem). The onion I probably ought to use soon, but I think it will be ok for a while, or else I’ll give it to my neighbor before I leave if it looks like it might be going off. However, I definitely wanted to use the apples, lemon, and cheese this week, and also not buy anything else super perishable that I wouldn’t be able to use. What I wanted to avoid was getting to Saturday and having, say, half a bundle of parsley 🙂

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Being Thrifty and Eating Right in New York Was Really, Really Hard

So I’ve lost a little weight recently — not a ton, maybe five pounds — and I was thinking today about why that never happened in New York, when I was younger and also probably getting more exercise (just from walking around more.) Also, as you may have noticed, I’m a lot better at sticking to a budget and saving money now than I used to be 🙂 And I think the two things are actually interconnected, not just in the way that financial and weight metaphors often work together, but because the pattern of living in New York is practically designed to disrupt weight control and money control.

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Zero Food Waste 2015 Week 14: Don’t Buy In Bulk, Buy Bulk (plus weeknight soba noodles for one)

zero food waste challenge 2015Wow. It feels pretty awesome to be nearly a third of the way through the year — I’m beginning to feel like my new habits are fully settling in. The thing that’s helping the most is really that I know myself pretty well by now; after over a decade of adulting, I have a decent sense of what will and won’t work for me. But one thing I’ve been doing this year is genuinely new, and not something I would ever have said I’d like as much as it’s turning out that I do.

Anne at Money Propeller linked me to this WSJ article on food waste: according to the EPA, Americans threw out 36 million tons of food in 2012, up to $1000 per year per person. The people they interviewed for the article (which is sort of an ad for high end refrigerators that claim they can keep food fresh longer) are interesting, because they testify to the fact that we like imagining we’ll use all that beautiful produce, so we buy it…and don’t use it.

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Zero Food Waste Week 13: Meal Plan Like a Champion, Part 1: Pantry (plus refried bean and kale quesadillas)

zero food waste challenge 2015Good morning, food non-wasters! Last week, The Finance Phoenix wanted to know what exactly I was making with all those groceries, and I thought I’d make this week’s tip about meal planning. This has really been how I’ve been making the no-food-waste thing work: being super strict about the planning, although also being flexible enough to throw things in the freezer if the week changes unexpectedly and there just isn’t time.

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Zero Food Waste 2015, Week 12: Guest Posting (plus tahini-cumin-coriander dressing)

Hi folks!

Zero Food Waste itself is on hiatus this week (although I did not in fact waste any food) due to my guest post at Well Kept Wallet. Please read over there, and thanks to Deacon Hayes and his team there for having me. That said, I did have a recipe written up, so if you’re interested in that, read on! Continue reading “Zero Food Waste 2015, Week 12: Guest Posting (plus tahini-cumin-coriander dressing)”

Zero Food Waste 2015, Week 11: Spring Cleaning

zero food waste challenge 2015So, it’s a bummer, but I had some actual wasted food this week: I threw away the heel of a loaf of bread that had been sitting in the fridge too long, some shredded zucchini that had been in the freezer since last summer, and half a lemon that I never got around to juicing. In this week’s post, I explain why taking stock of your food stores seasonally is important, give you this week’s grocery list, and copy a recipe for the Green Soup that’s making me feel like spring.

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Zero Food Waste 2015: Back on Track

zero food waste challenge 2015First of all, some good news: my friend had another appointment Monday, and things look better! Still a long way to go, but it’s great to see some improvement. I’m really glad I went out there, though. Expensive though it was, I think we are both much less stressed after having a little time together, plus I got to spend a bunch of time with my goddaughter, who I haven’t seen in a few months — she’s forty-five four, and can really swim and is working on bike riding. It’s so cool to see her growing up. And taking her to the library and working on crafts with her meant her mom could take some long naps and her dad could go out and do some of his own work 🙂

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Zero Food Waste 2015, Week 8: A little tired (plus mushroom marsala pasta)

zero food waste challenge 2015Trucking along, and I didn’t waste any food this week — but I am getting a little tired of figuring out how to manage with all the weirdness that’s been going on lately. I traveled, then I came home and caught a bad cold that had me eating strangely and off-plan for most of a week (I either didn’t want to eat at all, or I was reduced to only extra-spicy hot and sour soup to clear my sinuses out, or I had cravings, like the one that had me making cookies for the first time in over a month), and now I’m getting ready to travel again; I’ll be leaving Thursday afternoon (tomorrow) and won’t be returning home for ten days. After which I’ll be here for 2.5 days, then away again for 1.5 days! Sigh.

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Zero Food Waste 2015, Week 7: Ham-and-egg it (plus bread recipe)

zero food waste challenge 2015 I wasted my first big piece of food! I had to throw away a couple of onions from a 3-lb bag I bought the week before I began this challenge. They’d sprouted so much that they were unsalvageable (actually pretty funny-looking.) 🙁 Well, onward. This week’s tip: ham-and-egging it; the usual grocery list; and a recipe for the bread I bake for myself.
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