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 🙂

It’s also good to be back on the blogging track. I really find that doing this helps keep me on track with my awareness (this is really the big benefit; in about three years I’ll hit the adsense earnings threshold, hee) and while I did keep up with entering expenses in YNAB, I missed the regular financial check-ins that blogging gives me. So, I’m glad my month of living on airplanes is over so I can make a little more time for this!

I have to say, even with all the running around, I’ve been pretty conscious of the Zero Food Waste challenge! I’ve spent more $$ on food than usual this month because of having to buy stuff in airports and whatnot, and because of buying meals for friends I stayed with to compensate for, you know, staying with them, but I haven’t thrown out much of anything except half a lemon. Before all of these trips, I carefully planned meals so I’d be able to finish everything I bought prior to leaving; the only time I miscalculated, by cooking too much quinoa, I was able to save the day by sticking the leftovers in the freezer. (Prior to this challenge, I’ll be honest, they probably would have ended up trashed instead of frozen.) I’ll think of something to do with it this weekend. Maybe a breakfast porridge? Anyway, I was also good about ordering only what I could eat when I went out. So, not bad on the food waste front, even with all the craziness this month unexpectedly fell into.

Since I didn’t go shopping til Monday evening, and since I’ve got a bunch of meals out this week due to work, this is a weird food week — I bought supplies to make a quick pasta dish and I’ll eat that plus work stuff, but when I shop on the weekend, I’ll finally be back into a normal routine. I sort of can’t wait!

21 thoughts on “Zero Food Waste 2015: Back on Track

  1. Glad to hear that everything is starting to fall back into normal and that your friend is on the up and up. You’ve had a crazy month!
    When I was a kid I hated the idea of a routine. I wanted to do whatever whenever. Now that I’m an adult, I love routine, especially for meals. Routine means I have to think less and that’s wonderful. Yay routine.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I really need a few weeks at home doing normal things! I’m totally frazzled now. 🙂 But it’s a huge relief that my friend seems to be doing better.

  2. I think I need to take on this challenge next month. Money it tight so I need to watch every single dime closely!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Oh yeah, it’s really helped with money waste along with everything else! Closely monitoring how much produce I buy has good overall effects.

      1. Me too! With money so tight I hate seeing anything being wasted right now!

  3. Glad you had a good time with your friend and goddaughter. Kids grow up too quick!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      They do! It seems like yesterday she was born.

  4. Kirsten says:

    Glad your friend is doing better and glad you were able to help her out. She’s lucky to have you!

    I need to do a zero food waste challenge. We throw out obscene amounts of food 🙁

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I think I’ve been helped by being really insane about sticking to a food plan — which can be really hard with little kids. But yeah, I feel much better having cut down my waste by this much. I’m glad for my friend too — there’s still five or six months to go, though, so prayers welcome!

  5. While I haven’t gone so far as to eliminate all food waste, having a goal of cutting out a lot has really made me think creatively about leftovers. We really have so many options with fridges and freezers…it’s easy to throw one thing in a different dish to make it something else.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I agree — I mean, my goal is zero but I accept that I probably won’t quite make it 🙂 However, it’s helpful in cutting way down. And thinking about what can be frozen is a huge part of that.

  6. It sounds like having you there was a big help to your friend and her family. I’m glad things have improved for her.

    What do you make with your quinoa? I want to like it, but I haven’t been able to find a recipe where the quinoa wasn’t incredibly bland.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Like rice, quinoa mostly works as a good absorber of other things. I usually use it as a base for salads (so the dressing is mostly what you end up tasting). However, I do salt the water when I cook it, so that helps make it much less bland.

  7. Chonce says:

    Glad to hear your friend is doing much better and you got to spend some time with your goddaughter. Your zero food waste challenge is really motivating me to think twice before I cook too much food and end up tossing some out or fail to keep track of when food in the fridge is going back. Keep it up!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thank you! It motivates me too when I know I have to post about it 🙂

  8. Sounds like a crazy month for you! But that’s great you were able to stay on track with the challenge. I’m always a mess when my routine is thrown off. I like travel and surprises, but I’m really a creature of habit at heart. Glad to hear your friend is doing better–that’s so kind of you to go help out!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      It’s been completely whack. Even after all the travel, we’re hosting two huge events at work in a three-week period, plus Easter, plus normal life/work stuff. I’m also pretty attached to my routine so I’m looking forward to things calming down for a while eventually.

  9. Debt Hater says:

    Glad to hear that your friend is doing better and that you had a nice trip visiting. Always worth it to spend money on relationships in my opinion. You budget your other categories so that you can spend it on the stuff that is most important 🙂

    I think that your quinoa example shows that you are now fully into the habit of making sure everything becomes leftovers now and that your experiment is working. Most of my lunches during the week are just leftover dinners from a few nights ago. Very rarely does food go to waste in our house, everything gets put into a container and goes in the fridge to eat again at some point!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I think you’re right about the quinoa! I’m getting used to thinking of creative things to do with “extras.”

  10. Ms. LoL says:

    Once I’m settled into the new place, I’m totally going to be getting on board the Zero Food Waste Challenge. lol It’ll be a bit hard, since there will be not just entirely new places to buy food, but new foods to try and use! Not to mention very few cooking utensils. 😛 I hope I’ll be able to live up to your example with your half a lemon. lol

    1. thesingledollar says:

      The challenge is really helping me! I used to be a champion food waster even though I really didn’t have the money to spare. I’d say my biggest tip so far is just to be a really aggressive meal planner. I buy things, but only if I actually need them for that week’s recipes, and it helps me not overspend. Good luck!

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