This is why I dont buy groceries! (just me complaining)

posted 1 year ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
7442 posts
Busy Beekeeper

akm57 :  the freezer is your friend when you live alone! I used to prep a bunch on the weekend and then I could either quickly defrost a homemade meal or not have to stress about it going bad. I also just started buying less fresh produce – if I ran out I could run back to the store, but I got sick of throwing so much out.

Post # 3
Member
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I totally feel your pain! I’m trying really hard to cut down on buying/picking up food, but when you’re busy, it’s so tough! I live kind of far from the city in which I work and do all my errands, so it’s not like I can run home, eat, and then go back out to do my stuff. 

I have the same problem with lunches, because I usually rely on leftovers as well. My advice would be to buy a little less perishable stuff on Sundays, in the event that things come up. And if you need to go pick up a couple specific things from the grocery store during the week, then you can do that, so it doesn’t go to waste!

Post # 4
Member
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I feel your pain too. I cook at least 3x a week but Dh loves to get food out so so much is wasted!! I give my leftovers to my family if stuff is going to go bad otherwise.

Post # 5
Member
862 posts
Busy bee

akm57 :  I would start meal prepping on Sunday when you buy groceries and freezing meals to use when you need them instead of just keeping the ingredients in your fridge for when you have time to cook. 

Post # 6
Member
47175 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Cook what you have and freeze it.If you can’t cook it, freeze it.  Even things like kale salad can be placed in a large freezer bag and saved for when you make soup. I put all sorts of leftovers and less than perfect veggies in my bag and have the most delicious soup.

Post # 7
Member
1002 posts
Bumble bee

Oh I undertand! I learned to just start buying my produce mostly frozen… which I am not crazy about but I look for the organic stuff at costco such as brocolli, green beans… or get frozen corn and peas etc at smaller stores. Also we get the least ripe bananas and oranges etc. Gives us a little more time. Luckily if we don’t eat it I give it to the dogs who love veggies and fruit now. lol.

We bought a deep freezer as well so we have stuff stocked to the brim of all meats and fish… cheese and bread etc etc. I just lay it out at lunch on work at home days… or that morning. If I am not sure if I am going to be home… I just don’t put anything down. Because I don’t want meat sitting in fridge for more than a day afer thawing.

Me and the SO have not been doing to great the last few weeks…and going out a lot because of stress and not wanting to deal with cooking… or just not feeling well… that is not really the best excuse to not eat at home… but we love going out.

Post # 8
Member
7442 posts
Busy Beekeeper

oh! I also buy stuff that can be repurposed if it starts to reach the end of it’s life. If I buy lettuce for salads and it wilts I throw it out, if I use baby spinach for salads and it starts to wilt I cook it. Bananas I forgot about become banana bread, etc. 

Post # 9
Member
1305 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Take the foods that will go bad and make some lunches! You mentioned that you usually eat leftovers for lunch.

Post # 10
Member
636 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

Don’t beat yourself up. Dinner doesn’t have to be a complete meal, it just has to be nutritious. It sounds like you need to carve more time out of your weekend for batch cooking, and buy ingredients to have on hand for quicker meals during the week. Think salads, wraps, and bowls. Within 45 mins, I can throw together:  

– sausage skillet: slice sausage links at a diagonal angle and brown in a pan. Add in medium slices of onion and bell pepper. Top with rice or scrambled eggs. 20 minute prep and cook time. I like to use turkey kielbasa, less cholesterol and so yum. 

– grilled chicken BLT salad: dry rub on thinly sliced chicken (grill or pan fry), cook bacon in the same pan, chop salad greens, cucumber, tomato, any other veg you like and top with a creamy dressing. Holds up great for lunches

– sauteed greens and garlic: like it sounds, chard, spinach, kale, cabbage all work great! Little butter or oil in the pan with some garlic and let it hangout on medium low for at least 10 minutes. 

– curry tofu scramble: fry tofu (or eggs or ground meat) in a pan with onions, and garlic. Throw in a couple tbsps curry powder, add in veggies. DELICIOUS. 

– grilled cheese and a can of tomato soup: nuff said! bring your leftover soup with cheese and bread to the office, toast it at work for a semi-grilled situation. 

– baked fish and veggies: put halved, small potoatoes, asparagus, and fish on a baking sheet. Season everything with Old Bay or spices of your choosing. Bake at 375 for 25 mins.

– Black Bean burger: microwave or pan fry Amy’s or Dr. Preager’s burger with a slice of pepper jack on top, slice half an avocado, cut a few slices of red onion, tear off a few lettuce leaves, pour salsa on top. Yum! 

On weekends, I highly recommend roasting a whole chicken on a bed of root vegetables and potato. You’ll have an elegant dinner that cooks while you take care of other chores, 2 meals of solid leftovers, a ton of chicken leftover to shred for tacos or chicken salad, and when you’ve picked out all the meat, all the bones to make (and freeze!) homemade chicken stock. 

Post # 11
Member
1364 posts
Bumble bee

akm57 :  “Ugh whats even worse is that I usually have leftovers for lunch, and since I have not been cooking dinners, I dont have anything of substance “

That is the part where I said oh man that sucks.  I know this routine!

If it makes you feel any better, it happens to all of us.  Stuff happens, stuff comes up, plans change.

Try to buy long lasting produce, like cabbage, cauliflower & carrots. And quick cooking produce like zucchini (which if stored well keeps a good week or more). Don’t mess with things like asparagus that have a tiny shelf life.

Then fill in with canned beans, canned fish, smoked/cured meats that last longer, eggs.

if you planned two of your four meals a week around those types of pantry & long lasting produce items then you don’t loose anything when your week totally changes.

Example, I didn’t make it to the grocery store yesterday & had to come up with something on the spot.  I simmered a can of pinto beans with some hot sauce & tablespoon of butter.  Cooked some pancetta (which lasts for ever) to crumble on top) then sautéed some very old cabbage, bok choy & near dead spinach in the drippings & served it with tortillas, pickled jalapeños & chopped raw onions.  It took 20 minutes start to finish, was a satisfying, wholesome meal & I cleaned out my fridge in the process.  Then I made a carrot & apple salad with crushed nuts & seeds to have for lunch today since I had no leftovers.

Post # 12
Member
1953 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

ive had the same problem in the past. Now a days i only buy produce when i know im gonna use all of it to cook with or i buy small amounts that i know i will eat within a few days. So in reality i make a few more extra small trips to the grocery store, if im in desperate need of produce or veggies. But in reality ive saved money by doing so. 

Post # 13
Member
1671 posts
Bumble bee

When I was single I went out for dinner almost every night, and honestly for brunch on every weekend day too. So I just didn’t cook. 

Post # 14
Member
2411 posts
Buzzing bee

Meal prep and freeze stuff in single-serving size so you’ll always have a few things on hand to pull out and take to lunch the next day.  I buy single serving size freezer jars and every time I make soup or stew or a casserole or something else that freezes/reheats well, I freeze a portion or two.  Then, though the week, I pull out a jar every nmight and let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight then pack it for my lunch.

If have an Instantpot and I use it to make lots of things like soups, beans, etc.  Quick and easy.  Makes it easier to do my food prep all in one big batch on the weekend.

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