Every Friday, for over 2½ years, I have written a No Waste Tastes Great post.
Today seems as good as any to recap on my NWTG Friday routine. After all it is Friday!
The basic premise behind No Waste Tastes Great is to be accountable for what food stuffs come into the home and what goes out, eliminating food-waste as much as possible.
Being mindful of what is purchased, used and disposed of.
As life evolves, routines do also, and No Waste Tastes Great is no exception.
(A vintage example circa Autumn 2012)
This is my updated 2013 routine…
- Thursday evening we hold a house meeting at Chez Wright, the Hubby and I. This is a 30 minute block of time to run through various things regarding our home and family, as well as establishing the family diary for the forthcoming week. This is my opportunity to identify what meals are required and by whom.
- Friday morning I do a cull and cleanse of the fridge. Everything gets removed and the fridge is sponge-cleaned with a mix of water and bicarbonate of soda then wiped down with a soft cloth to dry.
- Placed back in the fridge are all items that still are suitable to be consumed. Anything I am unsure of remains on the counter-top.
(What a line-up? Very suspicious!)
- A decision is made as to what is going to be safely consumed and what needs to be disposed of. Recycled where possible.
- Food-waste is identified and disposed of.The aim is to reduce this amount by as much as possible.The ultimate aim is zero-waste.
- Once the fridge is restocked, a menu-plan for the forthcoming week is devised. This is based on 6 days worth of meals (because I have yet to develop my skills enough to successfully plan 7-days – life gets in the way!). The meal-plan will incorporate the items remaining.
- The meal-plan is written on a chalkboard in the kitchen for all to see. Anyone asking ‘what’s for dinner?’ is directed there!
(Spot the deliberate spelling mistake… okay so maybe not technically intended…)
- If there is food that needs to be used up immediately then a No Waste Tastes Great meal is conjured up for Friday night’s dinner. If no items are needed to be used that day, then a slow-cooked-curry is added to the meal-plan for that evening. We no longer have a takeaway on a Friday. This has been replaced by a Monday-night-fish-and-chip-night after swimming lessons – which all the family enjoys.
- A grocery list is collated based on the remaining fridge contents and the meal-plan.
- The groceries are purchased the same day. My target is to spend just £50 on shopping. A further £10 is spent on our Monday-night treat.
No Waste Tastes Great top tips;
Keep your eye on your fridge throughout the week. Action may need to be taken before Friday to prevent food-waste.
Jot down, throughout the week, items that may need replenishing. These include condiments, spreads etc. I list mine on a ceramic notepad hanging in the kitchen, that way others can add items.
Make sure you have staple store cupboard and freezer items to hand. Even planning just 6 days doesn’t always go to plan. Emergency meals that can be made up quickly are life-savers. I store dried goods such as pasta and rice, as well as canned fish and frozen fruit and vegetables.
Stock up an emptying fridge with water bottles (we also stock up with any beers and wine that may be consumed) to help keep the fridge running efficiently, as the food and space taken up inside the fridge reduces.
Every few weeks have a use-it-up week. Don’t shop, just make up dishes from what you have in your stocks. This can be very interesting, and actually a way of discovering new recipes.
**Reading this back through, it sounds like a military operation! Not a lot of humour in there… but then I remembered that reducing food-waste is something to take seriously. To lighten the mood I’ll share my favourite joke. “What’s black and white and fell off a wall? Humpty Penguin”**
My food waste confession this Friday – a quarter of a bag of slimy pre-packed salad, and 3 mouldy pitta breads. No photo this Friday I’m afraid. Normal schedule will resume next week as I host Food Waste Friday on behalf of The Frugal Girl.
How’s your Fridge looking this Friday? Anything to declare? Or is it nice and bare? Please share…and don’t forget to drop a link in the comments if you’ve blogged about it!
No Waste Tastes Great is bought to you (as always) with thanks to The Frugal Girl for the original inspiration.