Over at eGullet I read about an idea I rather like – skipping grocery shopping for a week. Instead of shopping for new food, spend a week eating down the food in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Like most Americans I have plenty of food in my house, so why not eat what I already have?
Save money. How much do you spend on food each week? A $100? Why not leave the $100 in your pocket and eat what you already have? Here’s what you might find: dried fruit, rice, quinoa, beans, all kinds of food in the freezer, canned things, noodles, flour to bake things, oatmeal, produce, eggs, and whatever else is lurking in your fridge.
All that you already have is fair game. Be creative. Eat unusual things or things you forgot you had. It’s free! Steve Shaw over at eGullet suggests doing this 4 times a year for a total savings of 8-10% of your grocery costs. Make the no shopping week a game and get your kids involved – let them find tasty things in your pantry and plan a small celebration for the final day.
Sound impossible? Design the rules of the game so that the goal is obtainable but not impossible. In the end the goal is to eat what you already have, save money, and reduce food waste. And a nice side effect will be some space in your freezer, fridge and pantry.According to Jonathan Bloom: “Depending on which study you believe, we squander between a quarter to a half of all the food we produce. Even by the conservative estimate, that adds up to more than 100 billion pounds per year.”