Return of the Zero Food Waste posts

zero food waste challenge 2015Good morning! One of the nice things about being firmly back home after a long absence is that I can start resetting my diet, which was iffy at best while I was visiting my parents and a complete disaster during my work trip. At least I mostly managed not to outright waste any food.


We’re firmly into winter shopping territory now. I’m using a lot of fruit that I froze or canned over the summer, and my produce buying is low (too low this week, actually, I need to up my greens consumption next week.) I also had to stock up on some dry goods, mainly add-ins like raisins and walnuts that I use for oatmeal. Anyway, here’s what I bought:

Sweet potatoes, $1.85
Garlic, $.50
3 lbs Onions, $1.98
Peanut butter, $2.49
Dates, $2.49
3 lbs lemons, $2.00 (on sale)
Chocolate chips, $3.19
Raisins, $3.79
Avocado, $1.34
1 lb walnuts, $6.99 (on sale)
Total with tax: $26.83

Whole Foods
Tofu, $1.99
Yogurt, $4.49 (they were out of the house brand so I had to get Stonyfield)
Steel-cut oats, $4.39
Arugula, $1.99
Feta cheese, $2.99
Coconut oil, $6.99
Cookies, $2.76
Total with tax: $25.60

Farmer’s Market
Eggs, $2.40
Apples, $4.00
Total: $6.40

Grand Total: $58.83

That’s just about where I want to be — I aim for $40ish in a week where I don’t have to buy expensive staples like nuts, oils, or coffee, and $60ish in a week where I do. I should be set for apples, eggs, and lemons for a while, too.

What Was My Food Plan?

This is definitely not one of my more creative weeks. I just wanted to settle back in, eat a little better than I had been, and re-organize myself. I made my usual winter breakfasts of oatmeal; baked bread; ate clementines, apples, bits of chocolate from some bars I got for Christmas for snacks; drank coffee I also got for Christmas; and divided up lunches and dinners. I ate several dinners out (one paid for, the others with friends). I had a peanut butter sandwich one day using my homemade bread and peach jam I made last summer. Yesterday I defrosted some brown rice I’d made and frozen a while ago, and mixed it up with the arugula, toasted nuts, avocado, and a salted lemon yogurt dressing. I’ll have that for tonight and probably tomorrow night too. And this weekend I’ll sit down and really look at some cookbooks and figure out some healthy winter dishes to get into the rotation 🙂

8 thoughts on “Return of the Zero Food Waste posts

  1. Hannah says:

    I wish I had time for making bread, maybe in a week or two. Right now, taco soup and homemade ramen are my wintertime favorites. Actually, just any soup is nice. It provides dinner for two nights instead of one, and that is necessary for me.

    These are a few soups that I’ve recently tried with great success. (I definitely left out the ricotta though. I dislike ricotta) (This one will get eaten in my house) (this one only gets touched by me)

    Since parsley is pretty good in the winter, I’ve added falafel to my date night fare, and I’ve really loved that.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Oh boy, the sweet potato thing is definitely getting a spin here. Thanks for those! You also reminded me I used to make what I called fake tortilla soup, since I followed no recipes and did nothing involving chiles, but it was really good and I should break that out again. 🙂

  2. Why is it so much fun reading other people’s grocery lists? 🙂

    I too have spent some time this month trying to reset after holidays/travel, so I can totally relate. I’ve also been (re)discovering slow cooking, which is sort of magical because you can basically throw in whatever you want and a great meal suddenly appears. I’ve been big into butternut squash lately — I just throw some chunks of it into the slow cooker with some garlic and olive oil and lentils and poof! Dinner.

    Also, I’m super impressed that you know how to can fruit and jam.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      The canning is easy! I taught myself last summer with help from It really turned out to be very simple, only slightly more complex than “if you can boil water.”

      And I don’t know, but I LOVE reading other people’s grocery lists, so I keep typing mine in too 🙂

  3. We really need to learn how to can. Fruit is so expensive out of season!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      It is SO easy. I taught myself last year with the help of Food in Jars (the website, and also her two books). But a lot of fruit also freezes well. I did u-pick blueberries and sour cherries last summer and my freezer is still full of them, along with some other things. So if you find yourself reluctant to take the canning plunge you could start with that for seasonal food preservation.

  4. Mmm… your salad with lemon yogurt dressing sounds delicious!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      It was really good!

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