Food Waste Friday / An Invitation

Each week since March 2008, in order to motivate her to waste less food, Kristen The Frugal Girl, has posted a picture of any food that has gone bad over the last seven days. She found this embarrassing practice so helpful, to her, that she invited other bloggers to post their own photos, and Food Waste Friday was born.

FoodWasteFriday I started participating in October 2010 and have found, 4-years on, the amount of food I waste is minimal. Every Friday, as part of my No Waste Tastes Great routine, I account for all my potential food waste as well as confessing to any items that I failed to save.

Kristen kindly asked me to host Food Waste Friday, alternate weeks and her initial invite for everyone to join in is cordially extended here!
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Every Friday I share a photo of my fridge.

SIMPLY BEING MUM'S FRIDAY FRIDGE 12 September 2014

SIMPLY BEING MUM’S FRIDAY FRIDGE

Then I confess my food waste (should I have any).

I'M GOING TO LOSE SOME GRAPES THIS FRIDAY

I’M GOING TO LOSE SOME GRAPES THIS FRIDAY

I devise a plan to use up any items that potentially could go to waste.

MY NO WASTE TASTES GREAT PLAN TODAY. SOUP!

MY NO WASTE TASTES GREAT PLAN TODAY. SOUP!

This is called No Waste Tastes Great. It gets shared here at the blog.

And I’m always thinking up ways to prevent food waste, and preserve fresh produce longer. Which again I share.

ONION "READY TO GO" IN A GLASS JAR

ONION “READY TO GO” IN A GLASS JAR

Why do I do this?

Because by being accountable I do better at reducing my food waste.

Human-nature is intriguing. Frequently I ask myself whether if I didn’t ‘out’ myself each Friday would I waste more food? I’d like to think not. But realistically I do wonder if I would.

Do we behave better when we are being watched? (Gary Vaynerchuk thinks so – see link below)

The internet is frequently criticised for all the harm it can do. But what about all the good it does also? Bringing together like-minded people, virtually. who potentially would never have met in real life.

(Gary Vaynerchuk explains the benefits of our emerging virtual world so much better than I in this interview. Check in from 50 minutes to hear him talk about humans and social media – be aware some of the language is colourful!)

Today I extend an invitation. An invitation to everyone who reads my Friday post. Please join in. Whatever stage you are at in reducing your waste. If it’s something that interests you and you want to do better than you are, then this is the place to be. It works. I have reduced my food waste so much over the last 4 years thank you to The Frugal Girl and the original inspiration.

I’d like at the point give a shout out to Vicki. She joined the food-waste-reduction-party and is going great guns. It truly is fantastic to see how her journey is progressing.

You can read Vicki’s post here.

Please do come say hello, it’s getting a little lonely here on a Friday! This isn’t about my food waste, it’s about us all. It’s a Friday meetup to celebrate, congratulate, commiserate and motivate.

Those of you who participate in Food Waste Friday can now grab a fancy-schmancy button to perk up your posts. If you copy and paste the following code into your Food Waste Friday post, this little graphic will appear.”

Simply Being Mum
Simply Being Mum

If you blog on WordPress, just make sure you’re in html mode when you copy and paste the code, or it won’t work

{ 46 comments… add one }
  • Tracey @ Mummyshire September 12, 2014, 12:53 pm

    What a fabulous idea, with small children I seem to have so much food waste – one day they’ll eat everything in their lunchbox the next day they won’t! It’s not so much waste in the fridge but waste once it’s been cooked – managing portions I find is rather difficult. I’m certainly going to follow #foodwastefriday

    • simplybeingmum September 12, 2014, 1:24 pm

      Hi Tracey and thanks for popping by and saying Hi today. It’s very much appreciated! Portion size has dramatically reduced here. What I now do (with the Kids in particular) is when I dish up – I serve about 75% of what I cooked. The idea then is if they are still hungry they can add to the plate. If they aren’t then the leftovers are rustled up into a lunch (for someone the next day). It seems to work. Please join in – Pop over on a Friday – I truly believe you will see an improvement in the amount of food wasted. Jo

      • Tracey @ mummyshire September 12, 2014, 4:48 pm

        That’s a good tip. I tend to put done in bowls and allow then to help themselves but I just can’t ever judge from one day to the next! As for lunchboxes… that’s a whole new story!!

  • Tracey @ Mummyshire September 12, 2014, 12:53 pm

    What a fabulous idea, with small children I seem to have so much food waste – one day they’ll eat everything in their lunchbox the next day they won’t! It’s not so much waste in the fridge but waste once it’s been cooked – managing portions I find is rather difficult. I’m certainly going to follow #foodwastefriday

    • simplybeingmum September 12, 2014, 1:24 pm

      Hi Tracey and thanks for popping by and saying Hi today. It’s very much appreciated! Portion size has dramatically reduced here. What I now do (with the Kids in particular) is when I dish up – I serve about 75% of what I cooked. The idea then is if they are still hungry they can add to the plate. If they aren’t then the leftovers are rustled up into a lunch (for someone the next day). It seems to work. Please join in – Pop over on a Friday – I truly believe you will see an improvement in the amount of food wasted. Jo

      • Tracey @ mummyshire September 12, 2014, 4:48 pm

        That’s a good tip. I tend to put done in bowls and allow then to help themselves but I just can’t ever judge from one day to the next! As for lunchboxes… that’s a whole new story!!

  • Dawn September 12, 2014, 2:05 pm

    I don’t blog but I love reading others’! I am trying (again) to reduce food waste. So this week I shopped for only what I thought we would really eat–produce only..had some things in the freezer. But wouldn’t you know it I just found a gross tomato that was beyond saving. So not great already.
    Got a bit of the sniffles this week and just wanted soup and not salad so all the rest of the salad making materials I bought will go with me this weekend to my parents’ house where we will no doubt eat it all.
    Will buy even less next week.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • simplybeingmum September 12, 2014, 2:15 pm

      Dawn I did reply but just not in the right place! Oops – you can see it on the blog 😉

  • Dawn September 12, 2014, 2:05 pm

    I don’t blog but I love reading others’! I am trying (again) to reduce food waste. So this week I shopped for only what I thought we would really eat–produce only..had some things in the freezer. But wouldn’t you know it I just found a gross tomato that was beyond saving. So not great already.
    Got a bit of the sniffles this week and just wanted soup and not salad so all the rest of the salad making materials I bought will go with me this weekend to my parents’ house where we will no doubt eat it all.
    Will buy even less next week.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • simplybeingmum September 12, 2014, 2:15 pm

      Dawn I did reply but just not in the right place! Oops – you can see it on the blog 😉

  • simplybeingmum September 12, 2014, 2:14 pm

    Dawn – sniffles are the theme of the week. Everyone has them! Interestingly all week I’ve been craving tomato soup (I put it down to feeling under the weather). Strange how soup is so comforting. Don’t feel too bad about one tomato. That sounds pretty minimal on the food-waste-front to me when you see the stats on what typical households throw away! Hope you feel better soon!

  • simplybeingmum September 12, 2014, 2:14 pm

    Dawn – sniffles are the theme of the week. Everyone has them! Interestingly all week I’ve been craving tomato soup (I put it down to feeling under the weather). Strange how soup is so comforting. Don’t feel too bad about one tomato. That sounds pretty minimal on the food-waste-front to me when you see the stats on what typical households throw away! Hope you feel better soon!

  • Hannah @ Eat, Drink and Save Money September 12, 2014, 4:52 pm

    After a week of being sick, I didn’t do too bad! It could have been better though. http://wp.me/p4yT07-Vc

    • simplybeingmum September 12, 2014, 6:22 pm

      Avocados very often end up in FWF posts! Hope you feel better soon. Popped over to yours and commented.

  • Hannah @ Eat, Drink and Save Money September 12, 2014, 4:52 pm

    After a week of being sick, I didn’t do too bad! It could have been better though. http://wp.me/p4yT07-Vc

    • simplybeingmum September 12, 2014, 6:22 pm

      Avocados very often end up in FWF posts! Hope you feel better soon. Popped over to yours and commented.

  • Vicki September 12, 2014, 9:02 pm

    Hi Jo. Thanks so much for mentioning my blog! You know you have always inspired me when it comes to food waste. Recently when I started thinking about plastic…thanks to the zero waste challenge posts I was reading I was so bowled over by how much plastic there is around me and how little I was doing about it!
    This week on my blog ( in case readers did not click your link) I had very little waste in my fridge though I share a wider discussion about my shopping escapades and the plastic I came across.
    Have an awesome weekend!
    http://www.veeseasyvegan.com/potato-crusted-lentil-pie-pears-plastic-food-waste-friday/:

    • simplybeingmum September 13, 2014, 7:30 am

      ZWW was an eye opener for me also. As I mentioned on your post I was a little naive as to the different types of plastic and whether they can be recycled or not. Well done on minimal waste! And for commenting over here with your link. It is appreciated!

  • Vicki September 12, 2014, 9:02 pm

    Hi Jo. Thanks so much for mentioning my blog! You know you have always inspired me when it comes to food waste. Recently when I started thinking about plastic…thanks to the zero waste challenge posts I was reading I was so bowled over by how much plastic there is around me and how little I was doing about it!
    This week on my blog ( in case readers did not click your link) I had very little waste in my fridge though I share a wider discussion about my shopping escapades and the plastic I came across.
    Have an awesome weekend!
    http://www.veeseasyvegan.com/potato-crusted-lentil-pie-pears-plastic-food-waste-friday/:

    • simplybeingmum September 13, 2014, 7:30 am

      ZWW was an eye opener for me also. As I mentioned on your post I was a little naive as to the different types of plastic and whether they can be recycled or not. Well done on minimal waste! And for commenting over here with your link. It is appreciated!

  • Trish September 12, 2014, 11:12 pm

    Hi Jo – I love your blog, reading about the clever ways you avoid food waste. I am in the US (but have been a total anglophile since I was a kid), and I am fascinated by the differences in the ways we do things. I think our giant fridges kind of encourage waste, darn it. Over the years I have come to terms with the fact that I am a fickle eater (sometimes alls I feel like is a sandwich) and that alone has helped me to reduce waste. I grow a lot of veg, and any produce I buy that goes bad goes onto my garden, so it is in a sense recycled. And my husband is not a picky fickle eater, so that helps! I keep a freezer full of stuff too, and can usually find something in there to eat (and I can freeze leftovers to prevent waste). And my last trick is that I have some young friends who eat ANYTHING, and I can dump food on them anytime! Like the greek yoghurt that I bought before realizing how much sugar it had in it!!

    • simplybeingmum September 13, 2014, 7:35 am

      Hi Trish – the giant fridges are getting more common over here also. When we first moved into our house (before I started thinking about food-waste) I thought I would change ours for one. But apart from one-off occasions (Christmas) our fridge is perfectly adequate. And at Christmas it’s usually so cold I can put items in the garage to store. Because I only have so much storage, I can only buy so much.
      It great to hear how organised you are with keeping food waste down. And that you are able to grow so much of your own. That sounds ideal. Thanks so much for commenting, it’s great to hear how others deal with the reduction of waste. Gives us all ideas!

  • Trish September 12, 2014, 11:12 pm

    Hi Jo – I love your blog, reading about the clever ways you avoid food waste. I am in the US (but have been a total anglophile since I was a kid), and I am fascinated by the differences in the ways we do things. I think our giant fridges kind of encourage waste, darn it. Over the years I have come to terms with the fact that I am a fickle eater (sometimes alls I feel like is a sandwich) and that alone has helped me to reduce waste. I grow a lot of veg, and any produce I buy that goes bad goes onto my garden, so it is in a sense recycled. And my husband is not a picky fickle eater, so that helps! I keep a freezer full of stuff too, and can usually find something in there to eat (and I can freeze leftovers to prevent waste). And my last trick is that I have some young friends who eat ANYTHING, and I can dump food on them anytime! Like the greek yoghurt that I bought before realizing how much sugar it had in it!!

    • simplybeingmum September 13, 2014, 7:35 am

      Hi Trish – the giant fridges are getting more common over here also. When we first moved into our house (before I started thinking about food-waste) I thought I would change ours for one. But apart from one-off occasions (Christmas) our fridge is perfectly adequate. And at Christmas it’s usually so cold I can put items in the garage to store. Because I only have so much storage, I can only buy so much.
      It great to hear how organised you are with keeping food waste down. And that you are able to grow so much of your own. That sounds ideal. Thanks so much for commenting, it’s great to hear how others deal with the reduction of waste. Gives us all ideas!

  • Clare September 13, 2014, 2:17 am

    Good call Jo! I know I am much more focussed on not wasting things when I have accountability in mind! I just may dust off the old blog so I can join in properly! I’ve threatened that a couple of times now, but I just might this time! Unfortunately I do have food waste to report. It was going so well! I thought I just had a few scungy pieces of lettuce (the ones right around the core that are always small and never very nice in my opinion!) but then I pulled the raspberry bag out of the freezer to make the kids their smoothie this morning, caught the middle of the bag on the edge of my freezer drawer and ended up spilling frozen raspberries all over the inside of the freezer!!! WAH!!! they are expensive!!! I think I will be looking at how I store them from now on…perhaps a special container in the freezer that I can lift out, to avoid this happening again! I don’t count child related food waste. My kids are terrible at eating all their food at school, and I only send cheese and crackers, a piece of fruit and some popcorn because they are always too busy to eat! I can usually save the crackers, but there is invariably fruit and popcorn waste. Though if they have not eaten something all week we have a chat about what they might like instead. Zoe was really loving hummus and crackers before she got sick, but since she got better she just hasn’t been able to enjoy hummus! So after a week of having the hummus come home again (unsaveable!) we swapped to cheese and crackers. 🙂

    • simplybeingmum September 13, 2014, 7:41 am

      Lets talk school lunches first. First-Born’s no problem, will eat a variety of things and tends to eat them up. But Second-Born not so good. Just crackers rather than cheese and crackers some days for lunch – it was getting desperate. I gave in and started paying for a hot school lunch, as he will eat those. Then a miracle happened! The Government brought in ‘free school lunches’ for Key Stage 1 (Infants?) – this is perfect and saves me over £10 a week.
      As for the blog – go for it. I’m always here to help if you need anything. It would be fun!
      Hope Zoe feels better soon. Maybe well enough to e-mail? 😉 Enjoy your weekend – sounded all sorted.

  • Clare September 13, 2014, 2:17 am

    Good call Jo! I know I am much more focussed on not wasting things when I have accountability in mind! I just may dust off the old blog so I can join in properly! I’ve threatened that a couple of times now, but I just might this time! Unfortunately I do have food waste to report. It was going so well! I thought I just had a few scungy pieces of lettuce (the ones right around the core that are always small and never very nice in my opinion!) but then I pulled the raspberry bag out of the freezer to make the kids their smoothie this morning, caught the middle of the bag on the edge of my freezer drawer and ended up spilling frozen raspberries all over the inside of the freezer!!! WAH!!! they are expensive!!! I think I will be looking at how I store them from now on…perhaps a special container in the freezer that I can lift out, to avoid this happening again! I don’t count child related food waste. My kids are terrible at eating all their food at school, and I only send cheese and crackers, a piece of fruit and some popcorn because they are always too busy to eat! I can usually save the crackers, but there is invariably fruit and popcorn waste. Though if they have not eaten something all week we have a chat about what they might like instead. Zoe was really loving hummus and crackers before she got sick, but since she got better she just hasn’t been able to enjoy hummus! So after a week of having the hummus come home again (unsaveable!) we swapped to cheese and crackers. 🙂

    • simplybeingmum September 13, 2014, 7:41 am

      Lets talk school lunches first. First-Born’s no problem, will eat a variety of things and tends to eat them up. But Second-Born not so good. Just crackers rather than cheese and crackers some days for lunch – it was getting desperate. I gave in and started paying for a hot school lunch, as he will eat those. Then a miracle happened! The Government brought in ‘free school lunches’ for Key Stage 1 (Infants?) – this is perfect and saves me over £10 a week.
      As for the blog – go for it. I’m always here to help if you need anything. It would be fun!
      Hope Zoe feels better soon. Maybe well enough to e-mail? 😉 Enjoy your weekend – sounded all sorted.

  • myliladventures September 13, 2014, 3:05 am

    Love the onion in a jar idea. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that b/c I store green onions -diced too- like that (well in a plastic food container) to keep them fresh and useable much longer.

    Linking up – normally I’d make soup or something with the waste too but lately my lil guy occupies all my free time so its hard for me to get into the kitchen for longer than 5 min stretches.

    http://myliladventures.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/food-waste-friday-91214/

    • simplybeingmum September 13, 2014, 7:44 am

      I’d love to claim credit for jar idea but I got it from Kristen! I’ve started putting cut lemon in also. It does keep the smells down in the fridge. I used plastic for garlic, but found the garlic permeated the plastic and I just could not get rid of the smell.
      It can be hard to find time in the kitchen. I find my slow cooker is perfect, but you still need chopping time – which if you have a blender/food processor can be done quite quickly. Will pop over to yours!

    • simplybeingmum September 15, 2014, 2:03 pm

      I used to keep garlic in plastic but the smell permeated the container so I switched to glass after seeing it as a tip on (yep you guessed it!) The Frugal Girl 😉
      Have popped over to yours!

  • myliladventures September 13, 2014, 3:05 am

    Love the onion in a jar idea. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that b/c I store green onions -diced too- like that (well in a plastic food container) to keep them fresh and useable much longer.

    Linking up – normally I’d make soup or something with the waste too but lately my lil guy occupies all my free time so its hard for me to get into the kitchen for longer than 5 min stretches.

    http://myliladventures.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/food-waste-friday-91214/

    • simplybeingmum September 13, 2014, 7:44 am

      I’d love to claim credit for jar idea but I got it from Kristen! I’ve started putting cut lemon in also. It does keep the smells down in the fridge. I used plastic for garlic, but found the garlic permeated the plastic and I just could not get rid of the smell.
      It can be hard to find time in the kitchen. I find my slow cooker is perfect, but you still need chopping time – which if you have a blender/food processor can be done quite quickly. Will pop over to yours!

    • simplybeingmum September 15, 2014, 2:03 pm

      I used to keep garlic in plastic but the smell permeated the container so I switched to glass after seeing it as a tip on (yep you guessed it!) The Frugal Girl 😉
      Have popped over to yours!

  • WilliamB September 14, 2014, 3:23 am

    I need to out myself this week. After months of good – albeit not perfect – food waste reports, this week was a doozy!

    I bought a $20 specialty crab dip/casserole and threw the whole thing out. Either I didn’t like the flavoring or I waited a day too long but either way, it was horrendous. And now I feel horrendous about it. That counters _weeks_ of small successes. I also lost two very large heirloom tomatoes and while that would normally be terrible, it fades in comparison.

    • simplybeingmum September 15, 2014, 2:04 pm

      I feel your anguish! But you don’t mess around with crab (IMO). Probably for the best! Better luck this week, I’m sure you’ll comeback fighting!

  • WilliamB September 14, 2014, 3:23 am

    I need to out myself this week. After months of good – albeit not perfect – food waste reports, this week was a doozy!

    I bought a $20 specialty crab dip/casserole and threw the whole thing out. Either I didn’t like the flavoring or I waited a day too long but either way, it was horrendous. And now I feel horrendous about it. That counters _weeks_ of small successes. I also lost two very large heirloom tomatoes and while that would normally be terrible, it fades in comparison.

    • simplybeingmum September 15, 2014, 2:04 pm

      I feel your anguish! But you don’t mess around with crab (IMO). Probably for the best! Better luck this week, I’m sure you’ll comeback fighting!

  • simplybeingmum September 15, 2014, 2:07 pm

    Thank you to everyone who commented this week, its sincerely appreciated. It was getting a little lonely over here on a Friday – I’m sure I saw a virtual tumbleweed blowing across my screen a couple of weeks ago! Makes me feel energised and encourages me to do better. Fingers crossed there’ll be more comments each week so we can all share are successes (and failures) and keep each other on track! #foodwastefriday

  • simplybeingmum September 15, 2014, 2:07 pm

    Thank you to everyone who commented this week, its sincerely appreciated. It was getting a little lonely over here on a Friday – I’m sure I saw a virtual tumbleweed blowing across my screen a couple of weeks ago! Makes me feel energised and encourages me to do better. Fingers crossed there’ll be more comments each week so we can all share are successes (and failures) and keep each other on track! #foodwastefriday

  • rebeccahalpern2013 September 18, 2014, 11:41 am

    We don’t do too badly with waste, I plan our meals carefully and only buy what I know we’ll use. I do end up throwing out grapes though! Not too many, but there always seem to be at least a few that go a bit brown! Also strawberries seem to get too cold in the fridge sometimes and a few will get slightly frozen and go mushy.

  • rebeccahalpern2013 September 18, 2014, 11:41 am

    We don’t do too badly with waste, I plan our meals carefully and only buy what I know we’ll use. I do end up throwing out grapes though! Not too many, but there always seem to be at least a few that go a bit brown! Also strawberries seem to get too cold in the fridge sometimes and a few will get slightly frozen and go mushy.

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