Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Use It Up

One morning I was at the YMCA. You see, a friend asked me to meet her there two mornings a week...early. If you know me, you know that getting up at 5:30am is no small feat. So, Tuesday and Friday mornings, I've been going to work out, groaning all the way there, and then feeling pretty good about myself all the way home.

One morning, my friend was a no-show and I was watching one of the many TVs. I have no idea what the program was (and I couldn't hear anything), but they were featuring a blogger, "The Frugal Girl". Her blog sounded interesting, so I checked it out later that day.

She has this very interesting feature that she hosts called "Food Waste Friday". Other bloggers link to it, showing what food they threw away as food waste that week. I was amazed at how little these people are throwing away each week. I feel like I always have some unused, sad-looking produce in the fridge along with a science experiment or two tucked away in the back. True confessions...hope you don't think less of me.

So, I've been thinking a lot about how to waste less food. I know that I could lower our grocery bill substantially by paying more attention to what I already have. One of the ways I'm working on this is by keeping a list on the side of the fridge of food in the refrigerator, pantry and freezer that needs used. (I need to go through the freezer and find out just what all is in there. So far, the only things on my list are the things on top). And then using that list as I plan meals. If you have other suggestions, by all means, send them my way!

Here's the menu for this week, along with what I'm trying to use up with the particular recipe:

Monday - Hot ham sandwiches (recipe below), coleslaw, orange slices (I had a block of swiss cheese that needed used, along with half a head of cabbage and some carrots)
Tuesday - Pot Roast, carrots, onions, and mashed potatoes, salad (We have quite a bit of beef in the freezer still, potatoes - I have a hard time using a 5-lb bag, carrots)
Wednesday - The boys will eat leftovers and I will have dinner with my group (I'm taking salad...using leftover lemons for the dressing, more of that swiss cheese and some bacon. On a regular basis, I end up throwing away part of a package of bacon.)
Thursday - Chicken and Celery Stir-Fry, fruit (I think at one point I had at least three partially used bunches of celery in the fridge)
Friday - Cincinnati-Style Chili (This one isn't really using anything up; it just sounded good!)

Hot Ham Sandwiches
I got this recipe from a friend this past summer and we just love them. This time we had them with coleslaw, but we also like them with sweet potato fries.

Potato Buns
Swiss Cheese

Spread (for about 1 pkg of buns, 1 lb of meat)
1/2 c. butter
1 T. mustard
1 tsp. dill
1/4 c. finely minced onion

Assemble sandwiches. Wrap in foil. Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes.

**I eyeball the ingredients for the spread. I probably use a little more dill. And, I cheat and used dried, minced onion, maybe 1 TB.

1 comment:

Gail said...

Hey Jimi--just wanted to tell you about a new product that I love. I can't remember the name of them, but they're green storage containers (like Tupperware) that you can get, I think when you check out at Walmart. I got 5 diff sizes with lids for 10 dollars. They keep fruits and vegetables from spoiling so fast--not sure how it works, but I can keep strawberries and grape tomatoes in them for maybe 2 weeks without them going bad. Love them, and I don't have to throw out nearly as much produce.