Kitchen Tips: Never Toss Forgotten, Rotten Food Again. Save Your Receipts!

16 Nov

Although this does not necessarily pertain to eating WCRS-free, I have assorted kitchen tips that have helped me to become an organized, clean, and resourceful chef since becoming serious about cooking. My kitchen is one of the most prominent features of my exploration into new culinary territory and in expanding my kitchen and its use, I’ve found a couple ways to improve the overall experience. I’d be a fool not to share these tidbits along with my tips for living WCRS-free so keep your eye out for Kitchen Tips!

How many times do you go to the grocery store, buy awesome-looking fresh produce and meat with full intention of making meals all week, bring your purchases home and square them away in refrigerator drawers and then…

BAM!

Grad school/work/life happens and all the sudden it’s 3 weeks later, you’ve completely forgotten about the food you bought, you can’t remember the last time you cooked and ate at home, and you open said fridge drawers to bags of rotten produce soup, green meat, and other assorted foods long past their edible prime. OK, maybe that’s a super-extreme example. I won’t say it hasn’t happened to me considering the craziness that has been my life for the last year. But whether this has happened to you in the exact same manner as the scenario above, or even with a single piece of produce or cut of meat that you simply forgot purchasing, then you know the anguish of having wasted food that you were once excited about preparing and eating.

Call it stinginess. Some people have no problem pitching food. But between the money lost (double lost actually if I eat out instead of cooking the food I purchased) and the slightest tinge of guilt for wasting what could have been great food, I’ve sworn off pitching rotten food. No, that doesn’t mean I force myself to eat long-expired perishables or hoard decomposing produce and meat. I have simply made a pact to myself that I will never let my food get to that point.

It’s not more expensive tupperware that’s the key, or those green bags that swear they keep your produce fresh for weeks. It’s not freezing everything I bring home or turning to preservative-laden jarred goods. My secret? It’s simple really. I discovered it when I could no longer keep track of the foods I’d purchased in a sea of roommate grocery clutter in our refrigerator. In an attempt to inventory what I had, I saved my grocery receipt and taped it up on the fridge. Aside from clearing up the “who bought it” mystery, this method also helped me to keep track of what I had for use. When I’d cook with or use something, I’d either cross it off the list, or change the quantity on the receipt if I had some left. Anything left from previous shopping trips that I needed to use was written in at the bottom (since much of what I buy is perishable produce and meats). And anything general like paper towels, spices, and condiments were simply crossed off since they entered the supply rotation. The result was a neat little inventory of everything I had in the fridge replaced each week with a new shopping trip receipt.

Having my groceries inventoried like this for the last year has saved me from inevitably forgetting foods and allowing them to rot into waste. No matter how thoroughly you meal-plan, everyone has forgotten about something in the fridge or pantry. With your own list right in front of you every time you hit up the fridge, it’s easy to keep track of what you have, how old it is, and what you need to buy.

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2 Responses to “Kitchen Tips: Never Toss Forgotten, Rotten Food Again. Save Your Receipts!”

  1. Rosetta Stone Russian November 30, 2010 at 1:15 AM #

    Hey, I just noticed that your RSS feed is not working properly. Thought I should let you know!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A WCSR-free Thanksgiving « 23 and Grain Free - November 30, 2010

    […] In an unexpected departure from my normal cooking routine, I packed up my ingredients and trucked across town to my parents’ house (notice in the picture no BLUE counters). I love cooking with my mom and she was super-helpful when it came to turning my almond flour and flax bread into stuffing and was welcome company on my “black Wednesday” trip to the grocery store for forgotten ingredients. […]

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