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Long Weekend Waste

May 28, 2010

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.

Eat, don’t shop

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.

Eat perishables

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.)

Snack attack

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.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 29, 2010 2:06 pm

    These are some great tips! I have such a hard time not letting food go to waste when we leave for vacation…actually, I have trouble not letting food go to waste all the time. I have a tendency to buy things on impulse and then forget that they’re in my fridge…not good! It’s definitely something I need to work on.

    • May 31, 2010 8:47 pm

      I do that as well! I’m really trying to cut down on my impulse buying, or at least make sure I eat everything when I do buy it! Hope you had a great weekend 🙂

  2. May 30, 2010 10:46 am

    These are great! I definitely reduce my parishable perchases as we lead up to a trip. P doesn’t quite get it though. He has the mindset that we won’t be gone that long and things will be fine. I’ve opened one too many moldy containers to know that’s not always the case. Have a fun trip!

    • May 31, 2010 8:46 pm

      Moldy containers are the WORST! That and gross herbs…which I always try to avoid 🙂

  3. May 30, 2010 6:12 pm

    You always have the best advice! I’m sooo bad at doing this,but in the future I’m definitely going to follow your tips 🙂 I hate wasting food so much but I’m so bad at not doing it!!

    Hope you had a fabulous weekend!

  4. May 31, 2010 11:38 am

    I’m so in agreement with these tips. Eat don’t shop being the most important one. It’s not the time to try new, fun dishes requiring me to buy just one more thing. I also try to stay away from using pantry staples like beans and the like, because it’s true- the perishables are where I need to focus. In general, I need to bookmark this page and refer to it at least once a week!!! I’m terrible about eating down the contents of my fridge, but I’m working on it. Hope you had a great time this weekend! COngrats to your brother!!

    • May 31, 2010 8:45 pm

      Thanks love! Its taken me ages to take my own advice, but this weekend was truly a success! I hope you enjoyed the holiday 🙂

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