Friday, November 23, 2012
thinking about waste and saving :: 23 november
I'm in the Christmas spirit this day after Thanksgiving, and for some reason I'm even already thinking about some New Year's intentions that I'd like to start putting into practice a bit early.
Particularly, I'm talking about food waste here, which, for we two on a tight budget, is money literally thrown away (that could be saved!). I believe I have a tendency to overcook for two people who work full-time and aren't at home a whole lot weekdays. I will often bake something, only to throw half of it away a couple weeks later because there's no room in the freezer or we just got tired of it. John is just not a big eater, probably if left alone he'd subsist on takeout and snacks. While I'm not entirely keen on the takeout (also for budgetary, but also health reasons), I do like the idea of a dinner of snacks. Raw veggies, hummus, olives, bread ... you get the idea. Serving smaller, healthy, but filling, portions. And these are meals that are much easier to prepare.
Ideally, I'd be home seven days a week, but that's just not my life right now as I work to save a boatload of money for the first time ever. I love to cook and bake from scratch, but right now I live 25 minutes from my job, I get home way before John, and I end up taking my dog for a walk, and then sometimes I try to make it to the gym. Then, I'm exhausted, and John is home, and we're all starving. All of these things are important, but leave little time for cooking up more elaborate, healthy, from-scratch meals.
So, thinking about this, I realize::
it's winter:: soups, stews, and chili are our friends right now. if i make a loaf of bread though, generally we eat one or two slices and then wind up throwing it away. so, yeah, we just don't really need to do that as nice as it is. even quick breads can be time-consuming, too.
taco night once a week is a must. so easy.
i could always halve baked goods recipes.
we could always have a mashed potato or salad bar night, too.
i do. not. need to cook every night, it might be nice to save real cooking for saturdays and sundays. i'm most tired wednesday through friday nights, so those could be snacks nights where we just eat off a kitchen platter. it would actually be a good day to get raw veggies in.
i know people are super excited about freezer meals, but quite frankly we have a small fridge/freezer combo in our apartment and it's usually filled with bags of frozen veggies, frozen bananas, and flours, etc. that will go bad at room temp. still, i'll be giving it a clean/organize in the coming weeks, same for the fridge.
we could also just do a smoothie with nut or hemp protein for dinner, too. why not?
we are going vegan for two months starting jan. 1 and i'm slowly starting to phase out butter, cheese, and yogurt and replace them with vegan versions. i'll move salmon and tuna to the nether regions of our food storage cabinets.
overall, i think i will be happier cooking just on the weekends, and there are usually leftovers if a big pot of whatever is made.
i just talked to john about this, and he's onboard :-) yay!