Reverse Meal Planning
Using Leftover Veggies
Save on Groceries Before You Leave Home
One thing you can do to save money is use up the food in your fridge and not let it go to waste. People waste a lot of food, especially in the United States, and wasting food also wastes money. By cleaning out your fridge each week before you go shopping and planning your meals around what needs to be used, you can eliminate food waste as well as not waste the money you have already spent on the food. To understand what I am talking about, I will share an example of the process I go through each week.
This is the process I go through in planning my menus around the leftover food in the fridge. This way, I don't waste the food I already bought. This is financially wise as well as eco-friendly. I also look in our freezer and see if there are things that need to be used or things I want to rotate or use up. We are going to get two bountiful baskets this Saturday, so I will have lots of produce. I will use the extra frozen veggies and fruits that I have in the freezer until Saturday when we get the baskets, so I don't have to buy any fresh produce until then. If I see that I can't use up something before it will spoil, I will freeze it and use it later.
For this week, our menu includes:
White chicken chili
Chicken enchiladas or quesadillas
Arabic meat pies and spinach pies
Manicotti or lasagna
Chicken and rice casserole leftovers
Soft tacos with the leftover homemade tortillas used in the enchiladas
If Americans really waste 20-25 percent of the food they buy, imagine how much money you could save by not wasting the food you have. By following this process of cleaning out your fridge each week, figuring out what food needs to be used up and planning menus around those foods, you can feel the satisfaction of using what you have wisely.
Marianne Giullian is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys finding ways to save money so they can live on one income. She likes to cook, read, and write. For more ideas, visit her website at www.spendwise.org
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