Thursday, March 1, 2012

Resolution Update: Febuary

Febuary was an interesting month on the wasting less front.  Most of our waste came from the begining of the month (and it's not because I didn't want it to skew January's total) and most of it was produce.

Food thrown out:

Half a loaf of french bread = $1.75
8 Mushrooms = $0.98 (This one was my fault, I had planned on serving side salads with a few meals and got flustered while trying new recipes that I served dinner without the salad.  If I  had made the salad before hand these would not have been wasted)
3 celery bunches = $3.25 (I buy celery with the intent to snack on it and never do.  This has taught me to not buy more celery than I need.)
1 baby bok choy = $0.43 (I made a stir fry and could only buy in packs of 3 when I only needed 2.)
Handful of grapes - $0.52 (all the random grapes at the bottom of the bag)
Half a tomato = $0.68
2x half jars of baby fod = $1.19 (used when we were out and didn't make it to the fridge when we got home)

3 hotdog buns = $0.50 (12 buns is too many in a bag and I could have frozen them but they never taste the same.  Next time I'll turn them into breadcrumbs)
1 apple = $0.41
1 pear = $0.68 (it exploded in the fruit bowl)
1/3 of a carrot = $0.23 (Alyssa was going to have with lunch the next day but her teeth are really bugging her and she'll only eat baby food)
1/3 carton of grape tomatoes = $0.33
small tupperware of noodles =$0.12 (see above comment about Alyssa)
small tupperware of rice = $0.57
small tupperware of chicken = $0.50
Small amount of nachos: = $1.70 (any suggestions for left over loaded nachos??)
Tupperware of chicken cobbler = $0.97 (was suppose to be in the freezer, but we didn't realize there were 2 containers of leftovers)
Tupperware of scalloped potatoes = $1.24 (I didn't realize it was in the fridge or I would have reheated for a side dish with another dinner)
Bowl of ratouille = $0.68
1/2 chocolate chip muffin = $0.30
7 homemade biscuits = $0.14
2 chunks of cheese = $1.03

Total of food wasted: $18.20 (I would guess this is close to what we would "normally" throw out each month)

Grand total of waste for the year: $28.93

Average per month: $14.47

What I learned: buying produce in bulk might save money but throwing it out is counter productive.  Buy what I need instead of what's cost friendly. 
Stick to the menu; if I've planned for a side salad make it!  By not making 2 nights of side salad because I was too lazy tired flustered I cost us $2.02.
Look at the left overs as a whole, between the pasta, carrots, and chicken I could have made Lynden a lunch ($0.85). 
Put left overs in a certain spot in the fridge so they are easy to find.  The chicken cobbler and scalloped potatoes could have been saved ($2.21)

One change I made this month that I am hoping will help decrease our monthly waste amount is making our meal plan end mid-week instead of on the weekend.  This allows us to not be having to go grocery shopping on the weekend with everyone else and allows for us to buy produce in a timely manner, since it was a bad month for produce waste in our house.

I also have not started growing anything yet, but I have narrowed my list of what I want to try to grow: peppers, blueberries, tomato, lettuce, and potatoes.   Maybes include: apples, strawberries, onions, and carrots.  I think this is a pretty good starting point and these are a lot of what we use on a regualr basis. 

The declutter calendar this month was not as productive.  A lot of what Febuary called for did not apply to us and I tried to incorporate things we needed to do but not much was needed in the same areas.  So, I decided to not get ahead in the calendar and relax on it this month.  Next month's looks better and I'm looking forward to getting back into it full swing.

I did mention in January's update that our kitchen would be a work in progress and this month did see some new changes.  I switched two cupboards around,which has helped greatly.  I also, finally, got a spaghetti container as well as some containers from Ikea ($5 for a pack of 2), which I've used for cereal, rice, and brown sugar.  I have 2 more I'm trying to decide what the best way to utilize them are.

My cookbook project is going fairly well - we're in the testing of new recipes stage and in the last 3 weeks we've only had 4 or 5 nights of "regular" dinners.  We've tried:
Gumbo, which I liked but Danny seems not too sure.  We'll have it again before deciding if it makes the cut.
A chicken skillet, which I don't really recall.  I had to go look at the recipe and probably won't make the cut.
A slow cooker scalloped potato recipe, which was pretty good.  Will have to tweak next time.
Chicken Cobbler, which was alright. 
Ratatouille, which Danny quite liked but I'm not sold on.  This was one I was worried about and held off for a few nights to decide and I'm still not convinced.  Might be a better side dish, but when it takes an hour for a side dish.... I don't know.
I need a bit of a testing break and get back to dishes we know we enjoy (like tacos and sheppard pot pie, which is essentially the pot pie with potatoes unstead of a crust).  I think I'm going to start limiting how many new recipes we try in a week, maybe 3, so it's not night after night of something someone doesn't like. 

So, please send me any favourite recipes you think I should try out.  You can contact me here

Any progress on your resolution?

You can read about my progress here

1 comment:

  1. Wow Amanda! You're doing great. I wish I could be as dedicated as you appear when it comes to keeping track of things. I have made it a rule to use up leftovers for my DH's lunch. Unless of course there is enough to use for the family for another meal which does happen if I make soup. You are right about the bulk buying. Only bulk buy if you can 1) afford to do it. 2) are able to use all of it either by consumption or freezing. I am beginning to realize that frozen veggies are my friend when it comes to using for soups, stews and casseroles.

    The all time favorite supper dish around my house is 1 lb. of ground beef, 1 box of KD, 1 can of diced tomatoes. Brown the Ground beef, prepare KD as directed. Mix together. Add tomatoes. If you choose you can add mushrooms. Put all of this in an oven safe pan that it fits in and heat through in the oven. We like to add some grated cheese and let it melt. You can add vegetables to the casserole prior to putting it in the oven or you can serve them as a side dish.

    I have another dish that is easy. It's called 5 ingredient soup.

    1 can refried beans
    1 can chicken broth
    1 can corn
    1 can black beans
    1 can diced tomatoes

    Rinse the black beans and put in a pot with the other ingredients. Cook until the refried beans are no longer thick and soup is hot.

    Not only is this quick and easy it's cheap too! I keep these ingredients on hand all the time for those nights that I just don't feel like cooking. Often I'll throw this together early in the day and let it simmer so it gets more a chili texture.

    Hope that helps!