A commonly bandied statistic is that Aussies throw out 1 bag of every 5 bags of groceries they buy which equates, on average, to $1,036 a year. That’s a month’s worth of food for a family of four!
Kitchen management is definitely MY domain in our house. An art that, I dare to say, I have quite successfully mastered. Although yesterday was a bit of a lapse. Mr Eleanor and I went to the supermarket WITHOUT A LIST! We wandered around aimlessly, up and down every aisle picking up random stuff (eg, I now have a pot of lactose-free light sour cream in the fridge – WHY?) Mr Eleanor asked what we already had the fridge – the sad sounding list went something along the lines of: a limp lettuce, celery possibly purchased last century, half a cucumber that’s gone all dry and puckered at the end. His first response was ‘Well, we’ll chuck that all out then.’
Oh! I think not! I managed to refresh it, along with some apple and walnuts, and a blue cheese dressing from a gnarly piece of blue I found in the back of the fridge, into a Waldorf salad that we had with a packet of budget-busting chicken drumsticks cooked on the barbecue. It went down extremely well.
There are lots of kitchen management lessons to be learnt from that particular shopping error, so here are a few of my rules for making most out of the food you work so hard to buy:
- Keep track of what’s in your fridge/freezer and plan to use what you’ve got before buying more food
- Plan a weekly dinner menu
- Write (and stick to) a shopping list
- Wrangle the grocery perishables as they come through the door, eg does that chicken need to go in the freezer?
- Keep an eye on food dates and understand the difference between eat by and best before
So as Gregg Wallace recently and so succinctly said on Eat Well for Less
“Go to the supermarket, buy some food AND EAT IT!”