Happy Tuesday, All.

Today has been a pretty good day for me.  I hope it has been good for you too.

In todays’ baby steps I want to talk about how not to waste food.  Basically, don’t buy too much.  And I bet you know exactly what I mean.  While you are walking through the grocery store, you spot something that would be great to eat or fix to eat.  It wasn’t on your list but it is on sale, or it is prominently displayed and caught your attention or you are hungry and some of that would be just what you needed.  We have all done this.  And when you get home and put the groceries away, you are not in the mood to fix that splurge item so you fix something else. And you may not think about that item until a week or two later when you have to reach to the back of the frig for the coffee creamer and there it is.  Usually it has rotted and you end up throwing it out.  Money wasted.  Good food wasted.  And then you are mad at yourself for doing that.

It is easy to avoid this situation but it does require effort on your part.  First you must think.  You need to decide what meals you want to fix for the next two weeks.  I don’t want you to sit down and assign a meal for each day of the next two weeks. My mother did this as we were growing up.  She planned every meal and cooked everything we ate.  I can’t do that because I am a mood cooker.  I have to be in the mood to cook something specific.  So just plan two weeks worth of meals.  You know you will have chicken a few times so how will you fix them?  You might have a couple of meatless meals so what will you fix for your protein instead?  What vegetables are in season? What fruits will you have on hand or available to make into a light dessert?  Make a general menu – the entrées, the side dishes, the snacks and the desserts.

Now comes the easy part.  Make a grocery shopping list.  Put only the foods you intend to cook or keep on hand.  Do not stray from this list.  If you buy extra food, you are liable to not eat it and it will go to waste.  I don’t have a bunch of money that I can just throw away on uneaten food. Do you?  Let’s face it, if you shop organic and fresh food when ever possible, these things are not usually cheap.  Be wise about your grocery budget and making the switch to clean eating will be much easier.

I know this baby step seems like something all home economists say you should do.  And they are right.  But, eating clean requires more thought and preparation than what you have been used to.  Don’t sabotage all of the good work you have been doing by blowing your grocery budget on extras that won’t be cooked.  Be smart always and frugal whenever possible.  You will feel better and your checkbook will thank you. 🙂

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