Long Weekend Waste
Z and I are packing our bags and making the trek (a whole 2 hours!) to Connecticut for my brother’s college graduation. I am definitely in the mood for a fun and celebratory long weekend.
Weekend excursions and vacations always present a food and budget conundrum. Not about spending my dough on fancy steaks while I’m away (or lobster, yessss!), but what I leave behind. I hate throwing away food. I look at that mushy zucchini or moldy yogurt and sigh “There goes 3 bucks“. Leaving a refrigerator of produce for even 2 days can give me a mild budget anxiety attack when I get home.
Now when I know I am going away for a weekend or a long vacation (yes, please!) I think about these tips to reduce my heart palpitations and increase the money in my wallet for souvenir purchasing.
Analyze your cart
I am so used to shopping for food to last a week that I have to train myself to shop for only 4 days. Reduce the goods you normally buy and you will have less to get rid of.
If you already have food in your fridge, find a way to use it up. There is no reason to buy unnecessary extras. The new recipe you are dying to try isn’t going anywhere, but that head of Romaine is.
Making chili with canned beans and tomatoes is not be the best idea when you have a drawer full of fruits and vegetables. Instead, roast some veggies or make ratatouille for dinner. Use up food that will go bad rather than what can be stored to survive a nuclear war.
Warm up to your freezer
Sometimes there is just too much food to eat it all. When you can, freeze it! Leftover hamburgers or a pot of soup can easily be packaged up and frozen for when you get home. And, then you won’t have to cook! (Unless you consider the defrost button on the microwave cooking. If so, we need to talk.)
I love to snack when I travel, but snacks are expensive and not great for you. Veggies with guacamole, a fruit salad, or a travel mug of soup are great for snacks on the road. Bring your perishables with you and you’ll save money on snacks and wasted food.
It’s so nice to come home knowing that you’ll be rot and mold free, and your wallet will thank you. Our shop this week was $25 less than usual (minus 3 days of dinner and 2 days of breakfast and lunch). The $25 went towards my brother’s graduation gift, so I know he’ll be happy about this too.