Wednesday, October 12, 2011

31 Days: Waste Less Food…and a Giveaway!

Edited to add: I will be extending the giveaway until the end of the month. I will now close the giveaway on Monday, October 31st at midnight ET!!

As I mentioned in the past, I feel like one of the most important ways to create a peaceful home is to have systems in place. I will be focusing on meal prep for a few posts.

Pantry:

First of all, when I unload the groceries, I write the expiration date on the top of any cans that I purchased.

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This helps me quickly take an inventory to see which items need to be used up soon. I will then plan a meal around that item.

Fridge:

When I open a container or package of something but don’t use it all, I always refer to StillTasty!

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You can browse by category or just search for the item. It will then tell you how long you can keep the open container in the fridge or in the freezer. It will also list tips for the best way to store or freeze the item. It’s fabulous!

I then use that info to determine the “expiration” date of the item that I opened. For instance, if I open sour cream, but don’t use it all, StillTasty tells me that it will be good for 2 weeks. I look on the calendar, and write the date that is 2 weeks away.

Every Thursday, I try to go through the fridge and get rid of any items that are expired or leftovers that have been in there too long. I can also see which items need to be used soon.

The last time that I was lucky enough to go to The Container Store, I found these awesome labels!

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These erasable food storage labels can go in the freezer, dishwasher, and microwave and not fall off! Just write the contents of the container on the label with a fine tip permanent marker. Before you put the container in the dishwasher, just erase the label with a white eraser or some rubbing alcohol. (I already have rubbing alcohol close by since I use it for my daily checklists.) Easy, right?

These labels have definitely made it easier to identify which leftovers are in the fridge and how long they have been in there. My husband usually ends up taking some leftovers to work for lunch, so now he can clearly see his choices rather than guessing what is in the black tupperware container.

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I can also label the food that is for my daughter’s lunch the next day so that he doesn’t accidentally eat it. (yes…that has happened twice this year!)

I also placed a label on one of the other things that I picked up at The Container Store…my Bacon Stay Fresh Container.

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I used to keep the extra bacon in a freezer bag, but now I don’t have to keep wasting bags.  A reusable container is a much better option.

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Freezer:

My husband just bought us a Foodsaver machine off of Craigslist. I love it! It definitely cuts down on food waste since it keeps things from getting freezer-burned.

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I’ve just scratched the surface of my freezing capabilities with it though. Any tips??

Giveaway

So…who would like to win some erasable food storage labels? I have 2 packages of labels to give away. Each package contains 70 assorted size labels. This giveaway is open to US residents only. I will close the giveaway on Friday, October 21st at midnight ET.  Monday, October 31st at midnight ET.

1. Comment on this post letting me know your best tip for food storage…or preventing food waste.

2. Become a follower of A Home Made by Kiki via Google Friend Connect in the sidebar and comment on this post letting me know that you did. If you are already a follower, just let me know in the comments.

3. Become a fan of A Home Made by Kiki on Facebook and let me know in the comments. If you are already a fan, just let me know in the comments.

4. Blog about this giveaway or post about it on Facebook and link to this post in your post/FB status. Provide the link to your post in the comments. You can re-post the giveaway once a day while the giveaway is open for additional entries.

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