This past Sunday unexpectedly turned into a giant food prep day which at the time was kind of a drag since I had a bazillion other things I needed to do but now I am realizing how awesome it was. As per my usual Sunday morning routine, I woke up way to early (I’ve lost the ability to sleep in on the weekends) and figured I’d go ahead and make the grocery list. My process involves rummaging through the fridge and cabinets to see what we have/ don’t have/ running low on/ or about to spoil. Then I make two lists, one is the meal plan which I prioritize using stuff we already have and then figuring out what ingredients we need to buy to make the meals complete which goes on the second list.
This Sunday when I went through the fridge, there were a bunch of items in our fridge that were on the verge: wilting veggies, super soft fruit, and chick peas and black beans that needed to get made into something before they went bad. There were also some things that had gone over the edge and had to get pitched which really irks me, it is such as waste of money and I know that the reason for it is because we chose to eat out instead of at home which is another big slap on the hand but that’s another issue altogether… Back to the point, once I had gone through the fridge I realized I was going to need to do some cooking that day to turn all of the on the edge foods into something that could be frozen or eaten that day.
Then at the grocery I realized we had timed our trip perfectly since they had just rolled out the “seconds” cart for the day. I don’t know if every grocery store does this and I’ve just never cared to look for a bargain or if it’s just this particular grocery store I usually go to but the “seconds” cart is amazing! Everything on the cart is at its ripest so it needs to be used right away but the prices are unbelievable. Since I already knew I would be doing a lot of cooking when I got home, we decided to take advantage of the cart. We got 2 eggplants, mushrooms, grapes, avocados, and some peppers and I think the total was less than $10.
I spent a few hours cooking when I got home and made the following items:
- Roasted eggplant, which I peeled, chopped and put in the freezer so we can use it later for this spicy Asian eggplant dish we eat regularly
- Roasted red peppers and sautéed mushrooms which I marinated in balsamic vinegar then made sandwich wraps using tortilla, goat cheese, and lettuce
- Falafel and tzatziki to use up the chick peas, cucumber, and onions that were looking sad
- Black bean burgers which I froze for easy to grab lunches
- I froze the fruit to be used later in yogurt or baking
- The avocado has made a delicious spread on toast for breakfast
- And the rest of the veggies got made into a stir-fry
Besides feeling good about not letting a bunch of food go to waste and saving a ton of money on fruits and veggies, I also enjoyed all that prepping and have really enjoyed eating my last three days’ worth of meals! Our usual meals are boring and prepared as quickly as possible around our work schedules which adds to the temptation to just eat out instead (something we both give in to way too often). I’m going to start setting some time aside each weekend for meal prep which will help me stay on track with not eating out and hopefully reduce some of the food waste we have in our house.