Here’s the situation: you get home from work, ready to toss some spinach and broccoli in a yummy sauce and finally have a healthy and filling meal at the end of a long day. Once you get home and open up the fridge, you see that your greens have gone bad, and forced to toss them out. You feel the sting of throwing out food again, and now you have nothing fresh to eat. So what gives? Here are some tips in order to save your groceries and money and never toss out food again.
Make Dairy Swaps
Many dairy products (almost all, really) are interchangeable. If you find that you have random odds and ends of dairy in your fridge, you can swap in certain ingredients like yogurt and sour cream as needed for any dish you’re preparing. This way, you can use up the ingredients you already have without buying more and without sacrificing on taste.
Pre-Wash Your Fruit
Before you put your fruit away, wash it first. You might think this is a lot of work up front, but think about it this way: once your fruit is put away, it’s ready to grab and eat if you pre-wash it! Any fruit that’s getting soft can be put in the freezer and can be added to smoothies, sorbet, and many more dishes.
Buying veggies in bulk is great — but some don’t last as long as others. When it comes to veggies with a shorter shelf life, cut them up, throw them on a baking sheet, and roast them. They’ll keep for longer and you can eat them in many different ways. Eat them as a side or toss them into a pasta. Add them into a frittata or make a quick stir fry. Pre-cooked veggies are much more likely to be eaten.
We’ve all been there: you need just a bit of parsley or cilantro, and you’re left with a huge bunch that you have no idea what to do with. Then it turns black, you toss it out, and the cycle continues. Before they go back, turn your greens into a sauce like chimichurri, add herbs into fresh salads, and toss them into side dishes like lentils or grains. If you still have some left over, toss chopped herbs with some olive oil and freeze them in ice cube trays.
A great way to keep bread for a while without it going bad is to put it in the freezer. Make sure the bread is sliced, and then you can take as many slices as needed from the freezer and defrosted in the toaster. You can also turn stale bread into croutons and breadcrumbs or a delicious dessert like bread pudding.
Another item that lends well to freezing is meat and poultry. You should try to buy meat, seafood, and poultry as it is needed, but if you buy more than you can consume and you want it to keep, throw it in the freezer.