Lately I have been on a mission…well, several missions. Maybe because it’s nearing the end of this pregnancy, I love cooking, and I’m anal about organization? Regardless, the mission that affects my family most is this. I am increasing my awareness of and changing some of my grocery shopping, meal preparation, and food consumption habits in order to increase efficiency, save money, and waste less. It’s a challenge, and it makes me feel great to be a good steward of our resources. So, practically, how is this working?
I plan a healthful (high on the produce, low on the processed) menu for each week and shop only once if I can help it. Then I ask myself how much of it my family will realistically eat and how much they will realistically tolerate for leftovers. We are not a huge leftover family. I tend to pitch things just because I don’t like how they look in the refrigerator or they don’t sound great anymore…wasteful, I know! I also am trying to plan my meals using as much of what is already in my house as I can. Simple, I know, but not something I had been doing very well. Non-perishable or frozen things would sit around for weeks or months, ultimately costing me more money. While shopping, I have started to pay more attention to sales related to my meal plan, and I have recently started favoring anything reusable over disposable. And here is the very best and last thing: I have begun freezing at least half of whatever I make to be eaten or used later, hence doubling my menu and the efficiency of our money!
So the food. And the reason for the picture above. I made a new sugar cookie recipe today thanks to a recommendation and loved it! Too much dough, though, for one day, so at last half of it is in the freezer for another day! Just this last week I planned for six meals, one night of leftovers, and cinnamon rolls for my mom’s group on Thursday. Today marks the end of my weekly plan, and this is what I have to show for it: kids who now like and eat asparagus without butter or cheese, 3 frozen meals and a pan of frozen cinnamon rolls for later, an organized refrigerator with few leftover containers, sugar cookie dough, and a very satisfied heart knowing I’m holding my own against this challenge.