Zero Food Waste 2016, Week 6

zero food waste challenge 2015

Hello all! I was at my uncle’s funeral last week, which was sad, of course, but I’m really glad I went. It’s also thematic with the zero food waste concept because deaths tend to create a lot of food. People were dropping things off at my aunt’s house all week, and then there were huge leftovers from the funeral reception (which my uncle’s company paid for because so many of his co-workers wanted to come.)

Do y’all have any creative ideas on saving the leftovers from funerals, weddings, etc? I think so often these big events produce much more food than the family can eat. Sometimes a local community will take leftovers like this, although typically it would be a shelter or informal church group, because this is prepared food that needs to be stored/packaged properly and eaten right away, rather than being the kind of thing that can be handed out at a food pantry. Has anyone done this successfully? Or have more ideas?


Scallions, $.69
Golden raisins, $3.69
Clementines, $3.49
Walnuts, $6.99
Olive oil, $8.29
Total, after coupons & 5% off offer, $18.91

Whole Foods
Yogurt, $3.69
Spelt (bulk bin), $2.91
Green olives, $6.69
Chives, $2.99
Milk, $2.39
Total with tax, $18.63

Oat flour, $3.49
Cabbage, $2.27
Parsley, $.69
Steel cut oats, $1.00
Total, $7.45

Grand Total: $44.99

What I Made

The “just put it in soup” game was strong this week! I bought some more expensive items (olives, walnuts, golden raisins, chives) with the express intention of folding them into another spelt salad, and that’s what I’m eating for lunch. For dinners, I pulled some stuff out of the pantry and freezer that needed using. I made a quick soup using onions, turkey sausage, carrots, kale, white beans, and tomatoes, and threw in some brown rice for extra bulk since I never feel full unless there’s some kind of carb in a meal 🙂 I may be running low on enthusiasm for oatmeal at last, so I might start to look for some breakfast alternatives this month, but for this week, I’m still on the steel-cut oats train.

11 thoughts on “Zero Food Waste 2016, Week 6

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    I personally like peanut butter toast for breakfast. Plenty of protein, though not as much fiber of course. But it’s cheap and easy — and a lot more portable than oatmeal if you have to eat on the go.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      True…but how do you keep the peanut butter from gumming up your mouth if you’re on the go? 🙂

  2. Sorry to hear about your uncle. Can any of the food be frozen and reheated later? We’ve also donated large amounts of leftovers to college students we know, who shared it with their (many) roommates. A very informal solution, though.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels famished if I don’t eat carbs at a meal. It’s like the meal just didn’t work!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      College students are a great idea though, if you happen to know them — they ALWAYS need food 🙂

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your uncle.

    Didn’t you mention a book or website at some point that was your go-to resource for grain salad type recipes? I thought I remembered reading this, and I’m interested in checking it out, but now I can’t find it.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yes! I like Heidi Swanson’s recipes. She blogs at and my favorite book of hers is Super Natural Every Day.

      1. Cool, thank you! I love her site; it’s very pretty. I’ve been scrolling through the recipes a bit…Do you have any particular favorites? I need to find some go-to ones that I can easily put in a mason jar and carry around with me.

        1. thesingledollar says:

          Yup! and are two favorites of mine. You can also search her archives for things like “bowls” 🙂

  4. I’m very sorry about your uncle.

    I would probably portion the food out and freeze as much as I could.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thanks, it’s pretty sad…. This particular food was hard to freeze, but in general that’s a great idea (casseroles, etc)

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