February 21, 2011

project grocery: closing the breakfast book, and wasting food

Since I was (ahem) out of commission yesterday, Mr went grocery shopping with Jr, and my lovely mom looked after Miss for an hour while I slept blearily on the couch. Awesome.

And if it weren't for the diapers (I know, should have kept the cloth ones. You can't guilt me more than I guilt myself), we would have been under budget (which we need to be a few weeks in a row - ideally forever - to make up for the wanton excess of the past few weeks). If you don't know what I'm talking about, head over to Project Grocery for a refresher. Alas:

I guess $8.87 in the grand scheme of things isn't going to be the deciding factor in keeping me home come April, but a whole lot of $8.87s certainly will be.

We've got the breakfast thing down pat, though, even though Mr still needs a box of cereal from time to time - he came home with Apple Jacks, of all things.  I even went so far as to do the math. But you knew that I would. So follow along: 1/2 cup of Bulk Barn's 12 Grain Cereal costs $0.13 (not on sale) and amply feeds Mr, Miss and I. We'd need at least 3 cups of Cheerios to do the same thing, which costs $0.81 (if you get the 400g box on sale for $3.99). That's a $0.50 difference every meal.

Less than exciting information for almost everyone else in the world. For me, it tastes like victory. Can't fool me anymore, General Mills. Take that.

So now that I've conquered breakfast like an invading Viking, on to the next task. The a lot more difficult, sometimes disgusting task. 

That would be food waste.

My refrigerator is my enemy. (Except when it's keeping my milk cold and my apples crisp.) It sits hunched in the corner of my kitchen, laughing snidely at me, and in a very quiet grumbly voice says things like "you should have eaten the rest of that nacho dip yesterday...too late now" or "there's cucumber juice in your crisper".

Eew. Cucumber juice. Hold on, I'm actually going somewhere with this.

I am a serial food murderer. I let more food leave my house in a trash can than a sane person should (although if I think my fridge is taunting me, maybe we can loosen the definition of sane a little?). So if I really want to trim the grocery budget, maybe eating the food I have before it goes bad in my evil fridge might be a good habit to develop.

Therefore, in the interest of embarrassing myself further, and unashamedly in the style of Kristen at The Frugal Girl, I cleaned out my fridge. And took pictures. Feel free to look away.

Oh, cuss word! See what I mean about my evil fridge? (Also, as a complete side note, see the delicious maple syrup up there on the left? Want to make some maple candy?)

I can't (won't) calculate the dollar value of all this, but it looks like a lot. And, at the very same time, looks like something I'd pay someone else to take away. Funny.

If you're wondering (and not barfing), there's sour cream, cottage cheese, tomato sauce, leftover risotto, chickpeas, taco dip, funky broccoli...well, the list goes on.  That all went into the compost or trash or recycling or wherever bad foods go.

And I still have this whole pile of food that's just about to be waste...unless I can think of something to do with it this week (want to help?):

I already used one of the carrots, one bunch of flappy celery, some leeks and the onion by making stock with the chicken carcass I had in the freezer. Nothing makes me feel more virtuous than making chicken stock. And nothing makes me feel more icky than saying "frozen chicken carcass". Eew (again).

I'm also not too worried about the other two carrots - we can snack on those - and I rescued the grapes already by picking through them and washing them, so we'll snack on those too. (Another eew: "picking through". Gross.)

Which leaves me with 3 beets, 1 bunch of flappy celery, 2 zucchinis, 1 parsnip, 3/4 of a green pepper that Miss doesn't like this week for some reason), a smidge of blue cheese - let's call it a tablespoon - 1/2 an onion, 1/2  a bunch of rosemary, 1 bunch of parsley (less only a few sprigs), and 3/4 of a bunch of leeks. 

Phew. Somehow I'm going to try to use it all up before my fridge turns it to the dark side.
Also, it was impossible to take a picture of this food without Miss' hand in it. Let me demonstrate:

(Triple points if you can find her hand in the first picture).