Sunday, January 18, 2009

Waste Not, Want Not

I went to the grocery store today for the first time in two weeks. When I returned home and began to unpack my groceries, I realized once again that I am incredibly wasteful when it comes to food. Among the items that I bought, several were replacing food items that had gone bad in the fridge before I had the chance to eat them. It was very sad to pour an entire carton of bad milk down the sink this morning when all I really wanted was a bowl of cereal.

I also purchased several items that I already had in the cupboard - I now have two bottles of balsamic vinegar, which I certainly don't go through very fast, and about 8 boxes of instant pudding...a girl can only eat so much pudding.

When it came time to clean out the fridge, there were at least three containers growing mold. I have a bad habit of making a four-serving meal, eating it one night, and then never looking at it again. I hate leftovers. I usually have the best of intentions, but I just cannot eat something over and over again.

Part of the problem is that I am rarely at home, and when I am, I typically don't have time to prepare meals. This means that on the sporadic occasions that I grocery shop or cook, I often buy things that will never be eaten, or will be forgotten and shoved in the back of a cupboard. It also doesn't help that I go through kicks where I plan to cook a lot and purchase a bunch of odd ingredients that never get used.

The other reality is that I am lazy. I don't put time into packing lunches/dinners to take with me to work, which means I then eat out all the time. So not only am I spending money on wasted groceries, I'm spending additional money on fast food and other convenient items. None of which are usually very healthy. Which leads to me getting fat and my bank account getting very skinny.

I am going to push myself to be less wasteful of food. I think it will help if I really push myself to plan ahead for my meals. The reality is that I am not going to have time to cook during the week, so if I do plan to eat home-cooked meals, I am going to have to prepare everything on the weekend. I am also going to need to pay closer attention to my food budget - both grocery, and eating out. If I limit both, it will force me to be more conscious of what I am eating. 

I just hate seeing money go down the drain on perishable items. Time to start eating more and/or buying less.


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