Happy 2016 everyone! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas, and a wonderful New Years Eve celebrations.
It was slightly different than the usual in the Insanely Normal household… We went to my parents house for Christmas dinner, as usual, however, when we got there, my mum asked if I had any meat in our fridge… I must have looked rather puzzled, as she quickly continued with, “we can’t have the meat that your dad bought, as it’s not ‘dinner meat'”.
My dad had bought a rather large Serrano ham full leg, and although it still had the trotter on, it looked rather tasty. Dad had sliced the smallest amount off the ham on Christmas morning, to taste it. To say he was disappointed was an understatement. He described it more as a “tapas meat” – the type that you use to wrap the likes of asparagus, or the like.
I had to taste it, to see what the fuss was about. Surely it couldn’t be that bad..?
Yep. It was. It was like chewing on the sole of an old pair of shoes… I think it took me almost 5 minutes to chew, and swallow the smallest slither of ham. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that the slice was about 1 inch by 1 inch, and was wafer thin. Bleurgh.
So that was our Christmas dinner… A plate full of veg. Thank God mum had a packet of fresh beef meatballs in the fridge… It was certainly different, and definitely one that will be remembered for many a year to come.
New Years Eve & Day came and went… Again, we celebrated at my parents house.
Skip forward a couple of rather lethargic days, and we’re on today. Sunday, 3 January 2016.
After church this morning, I made a big decision. I would pull out everything that I have stored in the food cupboard, fridge and freezer, and make a stock-list. I would then go on to prepare a meal plan.
I bet you’re waiting for the confession part..? Afterall, that’s the title of this post, right? Ok, here goes.
Hi. My name is Barbara. In my household, we waste A LOT of food.
I’m not just talking about filling the plates up too much, when dinner is made… I’m talking about buying foodstuffs, putting them away in the cupboard / fridge / freezer, only to pull them out again several months later to chuck in the bin. My decision to sort and plan meals would mean that we would not buy any more foodstuffs (other than bread, milk and fresh veg – when required) until the cupboard, fridge and freezer were completely empty. I mean, we’re bound to save a few pennies there, right?
I seem to remember making a bit of a blog post about wasting eggs earlier on in 2015…
Back to the subject.
We have one of those fridge-freezer combis… The freezer is constantly full, yet we barely dip in there. Our fridge is practically empty, and although we do tend to fill it up completely once every 7-10 days, most of the fresh meat ends up in the freezer. See a bit of a conveyor belt there?
As for our food cupboard, it is full. Full of tins, packets, sachets… Whenever we buy tins and / or packets, we place them in front of the items already in the cupboard. Bad habit, I know.
Anyway, I pulled everything out, and made a few lists…
The list above, on the right, is for “Donuts'” items.
Although cleaning out the cupboards, fridge and freezer can be thought of as a rather daunting task, I did actually enjoy making a stocktake!
After the list making, it was time to create some form of meal plan. I made up a quick template – listing the days (Mon-Sun) reading down the left hand side, and the week (1,2,3 and 4) across the top. I would then have the hand-written lists of produce by my side, as I carefully planned meals.
At the end of the plan, I had proposed a plan, filling 21 days for main meals, using almost everything that I have already.
The plan was then handed to hubby-dearest, to proof-read, and to give his opinion on. I got the “go ahead” straight away, and the above is what we come up with.
The only thing that we’re thinking about now is, “what about lunches?”
So, we’re altering the above – slightly.
We’re settled on all of the above as meals, but we’re now not limiting ourselves to only having (i.e.) fish, chips, peas & carrot on Saturday for our evening meal. I mean, what is we want the pizza, topped with extra cheese for lunch on that day too?
So, what we have now is a list of meals. Still, 21 items, but now this will more likely last us 10.5 days instead of 21 (accounting for 1 lunch and 1 evening meal a day). Do you know what though? I don’t mind. The food quantity that we are stocking is still on the decrease, and hopefully, will not be wasted!
Let’s just say – it will now give me something to look forward to, and may even mean that we can experiment a little more, as we’re going to have a “blank canvas” every time we need to go food shopping.