Without a doubt, you found yourself living during unprecedented times. Because everything is so uncertain, you’ve probably managed to stockpile food and the infamous toilet paper. What now? Besides Netflix, you’ll probably want to focus on cooking and baking. It’s difficult to say how long we are going to be confined in our homes, but if you don’t pay attention to what you buy and prepare, you’ll end up throwing some of the products away.
Keep on reading to find out what to do to avoid wasting your food during self-quarantine!
Plan Your Meals
Your quarantine diet may not be as healthy as it used to be. However, it doesn’t mean that you can just give up and eat pasta and microwaved foods all the time. To maintain a varied and nutritious diet, and limit the amount of food you throw away, try to get into the meal-planning habit.
Think about how many meals you’re going to prepare during the day. Figure out which ingredients will go bad while you’re quarantined, and make sure you use them first. Also, map out the dishes you want to prepare during the week.
Make your favorite meals, try some comfort food, and avoid reaching out for unhealthy snacks. If you’re running out of recipe ideas, make sure you check out a review of Sun Basket meals for more inspiration!
Make a List
If you want to avoid wasting food, a simple shopping list can help you. Make one and stick to it! Avoid impulsive buying at the grocery store just because you see a “special deal” or catch a glimpse of someone stockpiling on something. If you write down what you need, you’ll end up with a minimum amount of unnecessary products that will eventually go bad in your fridge.
This way, you save time and money. It only takes a few minutes to sit down and map everything out, so make sure you have your list with you next time you go shopping.
Store Less Perishable Food in the Back
Learning the correct way to store food can save you a lot of money. Use the fresh ingredients first, so put them within eyesight. If you can’t get to them because you’ve put something big and heavy in the front, they’ll go bad before you even notice. Keep your leftovers in the fridge as well so they don’t spoil.
The rule is very simple: if something is less perishable, it belongs in the back. This trick also applies to your pantry. Store your fruits and vegetables within your reach. You don’t want to eat canned food and pasta all the time, so put them out of eyesight. Try to keep your meals healthy and balanced.
Frozen is Good!
Some people believe that frozen food, especially fruits and vegetables, is less nutritious. That’s not true! Studies have shown that frozen foods are a source of antioxidants and are equally nutritious to fresh produce. Now, more than ever, it’s essential to keep up your vitamin intake.
What’s more, frozen fruits and vegetables can be stored for a more extended time, and they’re easy to prepare. They may taste a bit mushy, so make sure you use them in soups, stews, or grain bowls, or in other meals where they would have gotten soft anyway.
No to Big Portions, Yes to Leftovers
Reducing portion sizes helps you minimize food waste and prevents you from overeating. You can try serving your meals on smaller plates, tricking your mind and stomach into thinking that they’re full. The less boredom—and stress—eating, the more you’ll be thankful for it later when it’s all over.
Also, don’t throw away leftovers. Instead of buying more food, have a leftover night, and use the ones which are still good. Just because you didn’t eat all the food the same day you made it, that doesn’t mean it’s bad the next day.
Double-Check Your Pantry
Before you decide to go on another shopping run, look again at your pantry and fridge. You likely have more than enough food already, and buying more simply means you’ll end up throwing some of it away.
You can easily avoid that if you stop for a moment and think whether you really need to do grocery shopping again.
Sharing is Caring
You paid attention to all these steps and you still ended up with too much food? It doesn’t mean it’s going to waste. During these difficult times lending someone a helping hand can go a long way. Not everyone can go outside and do grocery shopping on their own.
Also, recent events put some people under financial stress, and some of them may be unable to afford a satisfying amount of food. Look around! If you find someone in need, you can always donate your food. A little act of kindness will be appreciated for sure.
How are you thriving through all of this? Let us know in the comments below!