When I was a kid I was always told to finish whatever was on my place. Wasted food never seemed to be a problem. Today I read in the newspaper that people throw away food worth billions annually. I think this reflects a change in attitude. What happens is that something is cooked. The proper amount is not given any consideration because the leftovers can always be stored in the fridge. Furthermore, the ingredients are cheaper, so there is no thought towards saving time. Once leftovers reach the fridge, there is often not enough for a complete meal or people just “feel” like something else. Thus more leftovers are accumulated. Eventually the leftovers get too old and they are discarded.

Another problem is that sometimes ingredients are bought and only partially used or not used at all. This is perhaps an even bigger problem.

DW and I rarely throw any food anymore after we adopted the following strategy.

We take turns cooking. Each person cooks for one week. Then it is the other person’s turn. We are both quite lazy, so this means that if there are any leftovers from the other person, they get eaten early in the following week. I am not sure why they weren’t getting eaten with our past and more irregular schedule (to be honest, DW did 95% of the cooking back then), but this method works.

If leftovers aren’t eaten directly, they tend to go into “leftover-omelet”. This is a fairly easy thing to make. Put eggs in a deep pan. Whisk them around with a pair of forks or use a electrically powered utensil if you must you owner of a handmixer 😛 and then dump the leftovers in there (cut them in small pieces first).

I would also like to take a piece of the honor for not wasting any ingredients. My cooking style is to cook around special ingredients using staples. So come Monday, I look in the fridge to see when we have. Then I see how far I can keep it going with those ingredients without buying more.

I think our food costs have gone down using this method as well.

Originally posted 2008-08-03 18:48:11.