No Waste Tastes Great / Use What You Have

It’s Friday Guys – time for No Waste Tastes Great

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Simply Being Mum’s Friday Fridge

Okay, so I’ve stepped it up a gear this week. All there is to use up are the grapes, and they’ll be eaten over the weekend. In fact supplies are so low that I have just enough milk left for another coffee this morning before I do my grocery shop.

How did this happen?

Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about food waste this week. It all started when I commented on this post over at The Frugal Girl. I explained about my minimalistic approach toward storing food. I was then inspired to give my cupboards and freezer a once over, and found that I had accumulated slightly more ’emergency’ supplies than I normally carry. Possibly minimal in comparison to many households? But still, once I get to this point I like to start thinking about using freezer and store-cupboard items up.

So last night instead of the planned Spag Bol, I conjured up a sausage, pasta, tomato and parmesan dish.

This means that next week I have the following frozen items to use up:

3 haddock fillets, 2 salmon fillets and 450g/1lb of lean beef mince. I’ve already planned my meals around my freezer supplies:

This means I have a very basic shop to do today. Only the bare essentials.

I love having a ‘use it up week’ as it can drastically reduce my already 50% reduced grocery budget. And we won’t go hungry, it’s amazing what you can rustle up from basic items.

So what’s the plan for dinner tonight? If the Friday fridge is bare we have license to partake in a takeaway. But I’m on a ‘use it up’ vibe. Scouting through my jars and tins, I discovered these.

Plus 2 sweet potatoes that I had planned to roast this week, but didn’t.

I’m going to try slow-cooking a Thai red curry with chick-peas and sweet potato. I’ve never tried this before, but hey, that’s the fun bit!

Anything goes at Chez Wright on a Friday!
How’s your Fridge looking this Friday? Anything to declare? Or is it nice and bare? Please share…

No Waste Tastes Great is bought to you (as always) with thanks to The Frugal Girl for the original inspiration.

FoodWasteFriday

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{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Live and Learn-Toss and Turn May 11, 2012, 2:02 pm

    It is amazing what you can figure out to cook and eat when you aren’t bringing anything new into the house. I learned that when we were planning for a big move and were trying to use up all of our food. I actually found the challenge kind of fun.

  • Live and Learn-Toss and Turn May 11, 2012, 2:02 pm

    It is amazing what you can figure out to cook and eat when you aren’t bringing anything new into the house. I learned that when we were planning for a big move and were trying to use up all of our food. I actually found the challenge kind of fun.

  • {Adventuresindinner} May 11, 2012, 2:11 pm

    Wow! I totally need to use up all my stores. It looks like I’m ready for the next war rationing around here C:

  • {Adventuresindinner} May 11, 2012, 2:11 pm

    Wow! I totally need to use up all my stores. It looks like I’m ready for the next war rationing around here C:

  • Lena at frugalandthankful May 11, 2012, 4:45 pm

    Yum! You do great with eating from a pantry and freezer. Very inspiring!

  • Lena at frugalandthankful May 11, 2012, 4:45 pm

    Yum! You do great with eating from a pantry and freezer. Very inspiring!

  • EcoCatLady May 11, 2012, 9:35 pm

    Holy Moly! I am so incredibly impressed with your very clean refrigerator! I fear I’m a bit of a food hoarder – and I really need to reform. It’s sort of compounded by the storing of garden produce, plus the new Costco membership – don’t know if you have Costco or not – it’s a food wholesale place that sells at a discount but in really big quantities.

    Anyhow, I sort of went crazy after hurricane Katrina a few years ago and decided that I needed to stock the house with 6 months of food (hurricanes being such a big problem here in land locked Colorado don’t you know…) Oy! Anyhow, I’m still digging out from that little episode, and I fear some of the more questionable purchases are going to go to waste (a whole case of canned spinach… what was I thinking?!?)

    I doubt I’ll ever truly make it into the food minimalist category, but I really REALLY need to get better at using things up, and only stocking up on things that I KNOW I will use.

    • simplybeingmum May 12, 2012, 8:04 am

      Hey Cat! Glad you popped over. I can see why you’d be stocking up on your own produce, I’ve seen your garden, I would too!
      When I talk about my minimalist approach to food storage, it’s something I can do, because I am not going to ever be in a situation where we are isolated for a period of time (unlike many others around the world). The closest I’ve ever got to the hurricane is the back end of one – a tropical storm in Mexico. And that was scary enough. I’m sure were it a threat, I would carry some stock.
      Hmm canned spinach, now there’s a challenge – a whole case! Boy! 😉

  • EcoCatLady May 11, 2012, 9:35 pm

    Holy Moly! I am so incredibly impressed with your very clean refrigerator! I fear I’m a bit of a food hoarder – and I really need to reform. It’s sort of compounded by the storing of garden produce, plus the new Costco membership – don’t know if you have Costco or not – it’s a food wholesale place that sells at a discount but in really big quantities.

    Anyhow, I sort of went crazy after hurricane Katrina a few years ago and decided that I needed to stock the house with 6 months of food (hurricanes being such a big problem here in land locked Colorado don’t you know…) Oy! Anyhow, I’m still digging out from that little episode, and I fear some of the more questionable purchases are going to go to waste (a whole case of canned spinach… what was I thinking?!?)

    I doubt I’ll ever truly make it into the food minimalist category, but I really REALLY need to get better at using things up, and only stocking up on things that I KNOW I will use.

    • simplybeingmum May 12, 2012, 8:04 am

      Hey Cat! Glad you popped over. I can see why you’d be stocking up on your own produce, I’ve seen your garden, I would too!
      When I talk about my minimalist approach to food storage, it’s something I can do, because I am not going to ever be in a situation where we are isolated for a period of time (unlike many others around the world). The closest I’ve ever got to the hurricane is the back end of one – a tropical storm in Mexico. And that was scary enough. I’m sure were it a threat, I would carry some stock.
      Hmm canned spinach, now there’s a challenge – a whole case! Boy! 😉

  • sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring May 11, 2012, 11:14 pm

    Looks great! Did you have to feed the kids something different? (Mine won’t eat sweet potato) Garlic grapes perhaps!?

    • simplybeingmum May 12, 2012, 8:06 am

      Hi Sarah – How you doin’? I forgot about the Kids in yesterdays post (bad mother aren’t I – haha!). I do my food shop on a Friday so have stocks by the evening. They had a ‘fun kiddy tea’ last night. Pancakes for one, and boiled egg with solidiers for the other. The curry was okay, maybe a little watery? but okay. Served up with rice and homemade flatbreads. Which the Kids stole before we got chance to eat them!

  • sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring May 11, 2012, 11:14 pm

    Looks great! Did you have to feed the kids something different? (Mine won’t eat sweet potato) Garlic grapes perhaps!?

    • simplybeingmum May 12, 2012, 8:06 am

      Hi Sarah – How you doin’? I forgot about the Kids in yesterdays post (bad mother aren’t I – haha!). I do my food shop on a Friday so have stocks by the evening. They had a ‘fun kiddy tea’ last night. Pancakes for one, and boiled egg with solidiers for the other. The curry was okay, maybe a little watery? but okay. Served up with rice and homemade flatbreads. Which the Kids stole before we got chance to eat them!

  • Apple May 12, 2012, 10:21 am

    Wow Jo, well done on the empty fridge! 🙂
    I’m in study-mode again, so no meal planning, proper shopping, but lots of quick-meals and take-aways.
    ps. are you anywhere near Liverpool?

    • simplybeingmum May 12, 2012, 2:46 pm

      Hi Laura – Hope the study is going well? I’m approx 90 mins away from Liverpool by car – why? 🙂

      • Apple May 12, 2012, 6:33 pm

        getting addicted to reading your blog, even though I should be studying…
        thinking of taking the kids to Anfield, and wanted some tips re where to stay what else to see etc.

        • simplybeingmum May 12, 2012, 6:37 pm

          Your comment came through as my Big Sis who’s showing Daughter to sew is sitting next to me. She went to Liverpool recently, but only went for shopping and the Beatles exhibition. I know Sharron’s local, so if she reads this post she may see your comment! Fingers crossed!

  • Apple May 12, 2012, 10:21 am

    Wow Jo, well done on the empty fridge! 🙂
    I’m in study-mode again, so no meal planning, proper shopping, but lots of quick-meals and take-aways.
    ps. are you anywhere near Liverpool?

    • simplybeingmum May 12, 2012, 2:46 pm

      Hi Laura – Hope the study is going well? I’m approx 90 mins away from Liverpool by car – why? 🙂

      • Apple May 12, 2012, 6:33 pm

        getting addicted to reading your blog, even though I should be studying…
        thinking of taking the kids to Anfield, and wanted some tips re where to stay what else to see etc.

        • simplybeingmum May 12, 2012, 6:37 pm

          Your comment came through as my Big Sis who’s showing Daughter to sew is sitting next to me. She went to Liverpool recently, but only went for shopping and the Beatles exhibition. I know Sharron’s local, so if she reads this post she may see your comment! Fingers crossed!

  • Jo H. May 12, 2012, 5:50 pm

    Your sausage pasta dish looks wonderful. I am a “picky eater” (seem to be extra sensitive to flavours and textures) and have never been one to experiment, so I would never have come up with this on my own. I have a few favourite recipes and don’t go outside the lines. But perhaps knowing oneself does help to keep food waste down. I’ve gone through times when I bought strange (to me) ingredients and all kinds of spices, thinking I would expand my horizons, but ended up throwing them all away later. Now I buy only the basics, and – no surprise – they get used up.

    • simplybeingmum May 12, 2012, 6:42 pm

      Hi Jo – You can do so much with basics, so much. The sausage dish was literally – sausage, dry pasta, a carton of chopped toms/with herbs and grated parmesan. It was really good, as I am not keen on sausages usually. There’s is little need to buy lots of ingredients in my experience. I tend to grab blackpepper, garlic and mixed herbs for a quick injection of taste when needed. I mentioned in a comment (it may have been last weeks NWTG) that I very often substitute ingredients that I don’t use regularly for ones that I have to hand, and rarely has it gone wrong. Honey instead of treacle, dried herbs instead of fresh… that kind of thing. Like you say you need to know yourself!

  • Jo H. May 12, 2012, 5:50 pm

    Your sausage pasta dish looks wonderful. I am a “picky eater” (seem to be extra sensitive to flavours and textures) and have never been one to experiment, so I would never have come up with this on my own. I have a few favourite recipes and don’t go outside the lines. But perhaps knowing oneself does help to keep food waste down. I’ve gone through times when I bought strange (to me) ingredients and all kinds of spices, thinking I would expand my horizons, but ended up throwing them all away later. Now I buy only the basics, and – no surprise – they get used up.

    • simplybeingmum May 12, 2012, 6:42 pm

      Hi Jo – You can do so much with basics, so much. The sausage dish was literally – sausage, dry pasta, a carton of chopped toms/with herbs and grated parmesan. It was really good, as I am not keen on sausages usually. There’s is little need to buy lots of ingredients in my experience. I tend to grab blackpepper, garlic and mixed herbs for a quick injection of taste when needed. I mentioned in a comment (it may have been last weeks NWTG) that I very often substitute ingredients that I don’t use regularly for ones that I have to hand, and rarely has it gone wrong. Honey instead of treacle, dried herbs instead of fresh… that kind of thing. Like you say you need to know yourself!

  • Lauren May 12, 2012, 8:21 pm

    Wow, looks like you had a great week! Try the sausage pasta dish with chorizo at some point, it’s SO delicious. And I’m definitely going to be making something with sweet potatoes, I love them but so rarely buy them for some reason.

    My fridge is pretty good, although I left some lettuce in a bit long. Meant to have a meal with salad early in the week which didn’t happen as I had to shift the meal plan around after I’d shopped. I think I might have to resort to prepped salads bought just before I want to eat them. Surely will end up more cost/waste effective in the long run.

    My freezer and cupboards are close to overflowing though. Rather ironically, it’s because I’m going away for a few weeks and want to make sure the flatmate has proper food instead of reverting back to the processed junk he was eating before he moved in. So I’ve been stashing away bits and pieces over the past few weeks.

    • simplybeingmum May 12, 2012, 8:39 pm

      The chorizo sounds good – I enjoyed this dish so that’ll give me another option also.
      Lettuce – oh yes! I fall victim many a time to it decomposing! However i was so chuffed this week to pick up a ‘living salad’ from Aldi . I’d never seen it in there before. It should last 2-weeks as it’s still rooted, I have high hopes!
      ps – I hope the flatmate appreciates you? The odd bunch of flowers maybe?
      pps – can I ask “where are you going”? back home? 🙂

      • Lauren May 13, 2012, 4:21 pm

        Ooh, living salad in Aldi! That might be enough motivation for me to find my least annoying one to get to. I now have a fairly easy trip to Lidl, but it’s a good 45 minute bus ride away (in decent traffic) so I do pick up a few things there but I’m a bit wary of buying meats and such since I don’t have a cool bag to pack it in.

        I do get flowers! Usually when they’re in the 50p clearance bucket at M&S, because both he and my husband know I’ll go mad if they buy flowers full price. 😉 Got a £12 bunch of roses in there just after Mother’s Day, result.

        And yes, back to Australia. Spoke to my mum today (as it’s Mother’s Day over there) and she is SO excited. It’s been three years since I was last there.

  • Lauren May 12, 2012, 8:21 pm

    Wow, looks like you had a great week! Try the sausage pasta dish with chorizo at some point, it’s SO delicious. And I’m definitely going to be making something with sweet potatoes, I love them but so rarely buy them for some reason.

    My fridge is pretty good, although I left some lettuce in a bit long. Meant to have a meal with salad early in the week which didn’t happen as I had to shift the meal plan around after I’d shopped. I think I might have to resort to prepped salads bought just before I want to eat them. Surely will end up more cost/waste effective in the long run.

    My freezer and cupboards are close to overflowing though. Rather ironically, it’s because I’m going away for a few weeks and want to make sure the flatmate has proper food instead of reverting back to the processed junk he was eating before he moved in. So I’ve been stashing away bits and pieces over the past few weeks.

    • simplybeingmum May 12, 2012, 8:39 pm

      The chorizo sounds good – I enjoyed this dish so that’ll give me another option also.
      Lettuce – oh yes! I fall victim many a time to it decomposing! However i was so chuffed this week to pick up a ‘living salad’ from Aldi . I’d never seen it in there before. It should last 2-weeks as it’s still rooted, I have high hopes!
      ps – I hope the flatmate appreciates you? The odd bunch of flowers maybe?
      pps – can I ask “where are you going”? back home? 🙂

      • Lauren May 13, 2012, 4:21 pm

        Ooh, living salad in Aldi! That might be enough motivation for me to find my least annoying one to get to. I now have a fairly easy trip to Lidl, but it’s a good 45 minute bus ride away (in decent traffic) so I do pick up a few things there but I’m a bit wary of buying meats and such since I don’t have a cool bag to pack it in.

        I do get flowers! Usually when they’re in the 50p clearance bucket at M&S, because both he and my husband know I’ll go mad if they buy flowers full price. 😉 Got a £12 bunch of roses in there just after Mother’s Day, result.

        And yes, back to Australia. Spoke to my mum today (as it’s Mother’s Day over there) and she is SO excited. It’s been three years since I was last there.

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