A new year means new year’s resolutions. For many it means being thinner, richer, and healthier. And those are all admirable things. But I know that I would easily get overwhelmed by such a large list of things to change.
So I am only going to make one resolution this year.
It is to waste less — particularly food. I am not very good at using up leftovers and sometimes buy things that I end up throwing out before eating them. I end up buying more food than we can eat in a week and ordering takeout causing me to blow my budget for food each week. 2015 is going to be about wasting less and saving more.
But as they say, a failure to plan is a plan for failure, so I have come up with several specific strategies to help me with my resolution:
- Meal planning. I am going to plan out my meals 3-4 days in advance. This means planning a gap day or two for the inevitable night when we will eat leftovers or want to go out. I also want to keep a few last-minute freezer meals in the freezer and ready to go.
- Make my lunch the night before. I will be much more likely to bring my leftovers in for lunch if they are packaged and ready to go. Plus I can try some new things with leftovers to make them more interesting if I have time to pack them the night before.
- Coupon where possible. So this isn’t exactly related to the goal of wasting less, but why pay more for things when you don’t have to? Advanced meal planning will let me take advantage of sales and coupons to save even more each week. I’ve started by checking the matchups at my local store from Living Rich with Coupons. I also check the circulars to see which meats are on sale before planning my meals because I’m totally fine to switch things up to save money.
- But only buy what you need. A great deal isn’t a reason to buy something. Especially if it isn’t something that is good for me. I don’t need tons of packaged, processed foods sitting around.
- Plan on two grocery trips a week. By planning on two trips a week, I don’t need to buy large quantities of produce or other things that are likely to spoil before I am able to eat them. I would rather go to the market an extra time than waste money on foods that I end up throwing away.