Timing Out Your Groceries So You Waste Less
Don’t you hate to throw away food? You may as well light some dollar bills on fire while you’re at it, because that’s essentially what you’re doing when you toss food into the trash bin. Food is fuel, you need fuel, fuel isn’t free, and so, you just tossed out something you definitely could have used and will need to replace. That’s frustrating. Some groceries can be a mystery though.
You bring home your paper or plastic bags (or reusable cloth ones, if you’re good about remembering those) full of food that’s fresh and bright. You store it in its respective places. Then, a couple of days later, you open that crisper drawer or that pantry door, ready to try a recipe and find that your ingredients have gone…bad. Soggy. Moldy. Soft. Brown. Floppy. What happened?! It’s only been a few days! If you don’t know how to store groceries, they can go bad before their time. That’s one part of the equation. But if you don’t know how to time groceries, there’s almost no avoiding wasting food, even if you store them correctly.
I’m in a place where I need to save all the money I can, so wasting food simply isn’t an option. I’ve started paying close attention to what foods go bad and on what timeline, and there’s less and less compostable goods winding up in the, well, compost. Or trashcan. Or bush outside my front door because I got upset and tossed it there. I often feel like I’m in a race to eat my food before it goes bad, but if I compete in that race, then that means I eat to the point of stuffing myself, and that is a form of wasting food, in and of itself. The secret is timing out those groceries. Here are some tricks.
Buy a range of bananas
When you buy bananas, buy a range of colors. Buy a few that are still green. Buy a couple that are light yellow. And buy a couple that are bright yellow, and ready to eat. Don’t just buy a bundle of yellow bananas, as you’ll only eat a couple while they’re still in good condition, while the others go brown. You may need to be that annoying person who grabs one banana off one bundle and another off a different one, but at least they’ll ripen at the pace you’re ready to eat them.