Zero Food Waste 2015, Week 5: Ordering Less

zero food waste challenge 2015I’m pre-writing this post because I’ll be traveling on Wednesday. Actually, I’ll be traveling most of the week! As a result, I wrote last week about stretching out my normal weekly shopping trip to cover nine days instead of seven. That went quite well, although I had a few dicey moments; I barely managed to get through the last of the kale and avocados before they went bad, but I did it (only tossed a few slimy kale leaves) and I also used up all of the pearl barley I’d had in my pantry for a year or so, per Alicia’s clean-out-the-pantry project. Having moved this barley twice I thought it was really time to eat it before I potentially might have to move it again this summer!

I also had a couple catch-as-catch-can meals at the end: toast and apples for lunch on Sunday, scrambled eggs with leftover feta from the barley bowls on Sunday and Monday nights. I’m planning to pack a peanut butter sandwich and an apple for the plane Tuesday. So anyway, hopefully as you read this I am having a successful no-waste trip even though I’ll be eating out nearly every meal. I’ll check back in next week to see how this actually went, but here are the two things I’m planning to do to keep up this challenge:

1) Be really careful about what I order. This will be easier at places where it’s clear I’ll be able to eat a whole entree, but I know I have at least one Indian-food date, and at restaurants like that there always seem to be leftovers. Either I’m going to split an entree with my friend, or maybe I’ll just order soup and an appetizer or something? Alternately, I can check with her ahead of time to see if she can take the leftovers home with her.

2) Pack only the snacks I think I’ll actually eat. I have a bad habit of loading up when I’m traveling because I’m nervous about being stuck somewhere without something to eat. This time I am going to consciously push back against that. I might throw a yogurt cup in my purse, but if I do I am really really really going to eat it 🙂 If I’m not sure I’ll eat it, I’ll skip it and just risk having to either tough it out for an hour, or grab something from a bodega.

That’s pretty much it! Wish me luck!

15 thoughts on “Zero Food Waste 2015, Week 5: Ordering Less

  1. You’re showing great dedication! Keep up the good work 🙂 and enjoy your trip!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thank you! So far so good on the trip 🙂

  2. Good luck! Have a great trip!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thank you! So far so good!

  3. Chonce says:

    It’s nice to see you have a plan and will try to be dedicated to your goal even while you are away. Indian-food sounds delicious btw. Have a nice trip!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I’m super excited about the Indian place — my friend found it and it looks fantastic. I’m having a great time so far. See you on the flip side!

  4. Felix Money says:

    Enjoy your trip. I always have problems with ordering more than I can eat. I try to remember that when I order now, and just get one entree or one appetizer. Or share something with my spouse.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, I think the “ordering too many things because they all look good” thing has been a problem of mine! Thanks for the good wishes — it’s been great so far.

  5. Have a great time! I’m impressed that you were able to stretch your shopping trip out for nine days, I find it really hard to get enough groceries for 7 days for two of us. Perhaps if we start eating all the stuff that’s in the back of our cupboard it can be done?

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Well, at the end I definitely relied on the carton of eggs I keep around 🙂 Things got pretty bare in the ol’ refrigerator.

  6. I love following along on this challenge! You’re doing awesome! I’ve also moved foods multiple times and been ashamed of myself. We’ve finally eaten those old pantry layabouts, so hopefully no lingering foods will ever be put in a moving box again :)! I’m all about the random meals to use things up–makes life more interesting too. Enjoy your trip and good luck!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thank you! It has been a great trip so far, although I am going to have to go on a diet when I get home 🙂 Regarding pantry layabouts, my parents have always been really bad about this, to the point of true comedy. In the early 80s someone gave us a kit for a present; it was basically chocolate to melt and then you were supposed to dip fruit in it. (There was a picture of a chocolate-dipped banana on the cover.) My parents finally moved house in 2000 and they finally threw this thing out. Lord!

  7. ARBM says:

    I always order too much when I go out, and then I eat too much… But everything looks so good!!! Lol. I’ve gotten pretty good about asking for leftovers to take home though, and then I have a lunch made for the next day without any effort. This is especially good when I’m away for work and have to pack a lunch from a hotel room with little in the ways of a kitchen… I have found that most restaurants are happy to give me a little to go box with my leftovers – saves them from having to toss a bunch of food. I hope all is going according to plan on your trip.

  8. Leigh says:

    I just found your blog and this topic really interests me; I started a new job last week, in a new town and ate out the entire week; This was bad for my wallet and my waistline. I also have a lot of food at home that I should be using up! I’ll really enjoy this series.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I’m glad it’s helpful! You’re so right that eating out all th etime is difficult.

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