I'm working on reducing how much food I throw in the garbage, what about you?

United States
July 6, 2008 12:21pm CST
Hey there. Lately, the costs of groceries are just through the roof! Now, I have to admit, I've been a person that would toss out leftovers if I thought we wouldn't eat them. And, I did not think about the expense of that. Yesterday, we went to the grocery store and I got a loaf of WeightWatchers wheat bread. And do you know how much it was? $3.99!! I could not believe this, I was paying 4 bucks for 1 loaf of bread. I said to my husband, "I'm going to eat every slice of that bread, no matter what." I vowed to put half of the loaf in a ziploc bag and put the rest in the freezer. Usually, I end up throwing out the last half-loaf as it gets moldy before I get to it. What about you, what are you doing to save money at the grocery store? Please share your tips. We all need them. Thanks.
6 people like this
28 responses
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
7 Jul 08
So many ways to use bread, in America, not much bread gets thrown out, at least not at my house. Toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, stuffing or bread pudding for supper, we buy loaveS of bread for the two of us. If you only use that much, half a loaf at a time, then it makes sense to freeze it. But double wrap it. Just ziplock bagging it often doesn't work. I bought bread dough for $1.29 a bag (on sale for 40 cents less last week) and put them in the freezer, I take a loaf out, thaw it out, and use it as I need it. Fresh baked bread for half the price of already baked, but old bread. So I can buy 3 loaves for that price and have some money left over. Plus I can fry it, bake it, do anything I want with it. How much is the price of flour? Can you make sour dough bread? You buy yeast once and use the sour dough for a long, long time. Often there are ways to make bread or get it much cheaper than that. We have an old bread store where the bread is about to expire (date wise) and they sell it to us for half price.
• United States
7 Jul 08
Hi writersedge. Sounds like you are the queen of using up bread! Very impressive! Thank you for the tip on double wrapping bread, I don't normally freeze already-baked bread. I find your idea about buying bread dough very intriguing. I really need to try this one. I have seen it at my store before, in the specialty bread section. I have not made sourdough bread for years, but I still have my recipe. We try to buy the freshest bread possible because we live in a very warm, humid climate. Even inside in the air conditioning, the bread goes moldy in just a few days. My husband doesn't like bread that's been in the fridge, so we feel we must eat it up as quickly as possible. Thanks for all your tips on saving money on bread, writersedge.
1 person likes this
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
7 Jul 08
You're welcome. I love the fresh bread dough in the freezer and then in the fridge. As it thaws out, I can make a couple of little rolls, let them raise, and throw then in the oven with the rest of my meal and always can use a little at a time. Glad you knew what sourdough recipes are, my batter usually turns bad after a few batches in this weather, I do better in winter. Then I can really, really sourdough. I do it because often bread in America has lots of salt in it, so I can sourdough and make it go with my diet. Also I can only eat so much of it because I can't eat a lot of sour-high acid stuff. Good luck on your diet. Good luck with using all your bread and anything else. Oatmeal is my favorite thing, my family added that to everything, meatloaf, bread, base for apple or any other crisps, etc. Keeps you full when on a diet. Take care.
@piasabird (1737)
• United States
6 Jul 08
I would not pay $4 for a loaf of bread. That is just ridiculous! It's just flour and yeast! My gosh! I don't eat very much bread, but when I do I buy it at a day-old bread store where it's cheaper. The more you buy the cheaper it is and I put some in my freezer. I also have a bread maker and I can make dough and use it for rolls and other stuff like pizza dough. It's so much cheaper to make things from scratch. A lot of people use coupons but I don't because I think it just makes me buy things that I wouldn't normally buy. I usually shop at the cheaper discount grocery stores instead of big name places. Granted you're not going to find many name-brand things there but you will find cheaper store brands and I don't find the quality to be sub-par.
2 people like this
@GreenMoo (11842)
6 Jul 08
I think I must have missed the price when I read through this duscussion the first time, but I have to agree with Piasabird that $4 dollars is just outrageous. I'm not surprised you're intend on eating every crumb of that loaf! I'd be savouring in too, or keeping it for special occasions! I've not used my bread maker for a while, but if I had to pay the equivalent for $4 for a loaf I'd be dusting it off in double quick time!
• United States
6 Jul 08
Hello piasabird. I found $4 for a loaf of bread expensive, and yes, even ridiculous! I don't have a breadmaker and fear that if I bought one, both my husband and I would put on weight. Since we are constantly watching our weight, I don't want to add anything else that would tempt us. But, your idea about day-old bread is a good one. I guess I could try that and place the bread in the frig, although my husband doesn't like it when I do that. He doesn't want his bread to be cold. For me, it doesn't matter. I only clip the coupons on items that I either already use or that I am willing to use. You are definitely right about clipping alot of coupons: one ends up buying items she may not use. I like your spunk, piasabird! Maybe next time, I shouldn't buy the $4 loaf of Weightwatchers bread either! Thanks for your response. Take care.
• Nigeria
7 Jul 08
wow i thought i am the only the only one. ever since, i do through away left over foods but now i tell u i hate seeing food get spoilt. i hate keeping left overs cause i dont like food been spoilt. so instead of me throwing left over food away i prefer giving it to those who dont hv food cause there are so many out there suffering . some people are even praying to eat a meal in a day. so i dont throw away left over foods again.
• United States
7 Jul 08
That is cool that you have people who will appreciate your leftovers. I, too, don't keep many leftovers if I think we aren't going to eat them within 2 days. Ifocus on cooking smaller amounts of food recently so that there aren't any leftovers, unless I am sure we will eat them. Take care and thanks for your response, kennycaxton2006.
1 person likes this
@lingli_78 (12852)
• Australia
7 Jul 08
that is hardly any food being thrown away in my house... i always make sure that we eat every single one of the food that is in our house before they turn bad... i just don't want to waste my money and it is actually a sin to throw away food... so many people are in poverty and hunger... we have to spare a thought for them... that's why i always make sure that i only buy enough and don't buy in excess so that nothing will be thrown away... take care and have a nice day...
2 people like this
• United States
7 Jul 08
Hi lingli_78. It sounds like you are quite thrifty with your food. Plus, it seems that you are careful in how you select your groceries, taking care not to buy in excess. I bet these habits really pay off. Thank you for sharing how you manage your food budget. Take care.
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23709)
6 Jul 08
We try not to wast too much food PearlGrace and very often keep bread etc in the freezer if it is not going to get used! We usually by non perishables like canned goods etc when they are on special offer and keep them in a store cupboard! Anything that doesn;t get eaten (which isn't much cos we have one man and 2 very hungry children in the house) gets put out for the birds! xxx
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jul 08
Hello mummymo. Yes, just this past week, we put some bagels in the freezer, to make sure they are fresh by the time we can get to them. I, too, buy a few canned items when they are on sale. Plus, they are nice to have as back-up when we get low on fresh vegetables and don't want to go to the store that day. We don't put our scraps out for the birds much. We live in FL and it is advised not to do that because it draws wild animals (bobcats and gators). Take care mummymo and thank you for responding.
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23709)
7 Jul 08
I don't think I would put food scraps out either if there was even a remote possibility of attracting such things! Maybe having cold weather has its advantages! Hugs xxx
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jul 08
Yes mummymo. I definitely avoid leaving out anything edible around here. It must feel good, though, to know that your food scraps are not going to waste. Thanks for responding and do take care.
@GreenMoo (11842)
6 Jul 08
There is no food that gets thrown out in this house! I only cook enough for us to eat at that meal, and if there are any leftovers then they form the basis of the next day's lunch. I do have bread which goes stale occassionally, as it just can't stand the heat. I'm not too bothered about that though as the chickens have it so I don't consider it waste. I was just complaining to my husband earlier that since we've got the chickens my poor worms in the wormery get nothing to eat apart from cardboard, coffee grounds and orange peels. Everything else goes to the chickens!
1 person likes this
@piasabird (1737)
• United States
6 Jul 08
You're so lucky! I would love to live where I could have chickens! Instead I live in the city. You can't have chickens here! lol
@GreenMoo (11842)
6 Jul 08
I agree. I'm very lucky indeed and every time I go outside and see the space all around me I'm reminded of it! You can come visit my chickens if you need a break
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jul 08
Hi GreenMoo. Good for you that you try to use every bit of food that you purchase. I am trying to do a better job of that. Alas, we have no chickens, but, we do have the birds that stop in at all of our bird feeders. I've always heard not to feed birds moldy bread because it could make them sick, so I usually toss it out. But this particular loaf--the $4 one--has already been split up and half put back in the freezer. I hope I don't have to pay that the next time I go grocery shopping. Well, do take care and thank you for your response.
• United States
8 Jul 08
The cost of food like everything else is out of control.. I toss no food in the trash. There are a few days a week I work the evening shift . Hubby and my son eat without me .. this is what I do .. I am sure you heard of mixed veggies..,, I put all the left over veggies together, before the week is over we re use them ... in one meal. I even freeze any leftovers for another nite I am on the nite shift so hubby does not have to cook . keep in mind pr cooked items cost more .. example ricearonie. I make it myself.. white rice with chicken or beef broth .. all tricks my mother tought me ... if I am correct weight watchers bread is 40 cal a slice.. natures own is 50 a slice and alot cheaper then weight watchers bread. Try reading lables.. try buying store brands instead of name brands.. you will be suprised how many name brand companies make the store brand foods.. I am only oicky on the mayo I use and the ketchup... hope this helps
• United States
9 Jul 08
Hello Lafemcrafts. I like your mixed veggie idea--save them and throw them all together. I know I don't use my freezer enough but I am working on doing more of that. I rarely buy pre-packaged foods like Rice-a-Roni as they have too much sodium in them. I make our own seasoned beans and rice dishers. Thanks for the reminder about Nature's Own breads. I've had them and they are quite good. I need to try more store brands, though. I do tend to reach for name brands. Thanks for sharing all these really great tips! Take Care.
• United States
10 Jul 08
oh your very welcome .. :) I make my own rice and beans too I have to watch my salt as well ... I only go for natures own due to the calories.. it has less then the store brands .. so for that I buy it :)
• United States
14 Jul 08
I havent really tried to reduce what I throw in the garbage, but I do try to buy the cheapest bread and freeze the other loaf of bread.....basically buy the off brand stuff to save money.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jul 08
Hello StarChild517. I like your idea about buying cheap bread. I have developed a habit of buying Weight Watchers bread because I like it and 2 slices are only 1 point on the Weight Watcher program. Anyway, I definitely need to change my brand of bread. $4 is just too much. I did throw the last half a loaf into the freezer before we left on a trip because I didn't want to throw a single slice of that bread away. Thanks for your comments.
• Philippines
9 Jul 08
The last two weeks, I've changed a whole lot of my grocery habits. A community official talked me into saving up my grocery bags as they are now being recycled to make hollow blocks, so the plastic bags are taken care of. The leftovers, we put into ceramic plant pots and cover them with soil. To discourage pests and pets from scrounging, we cover the pots with a plastic basin turned up side down. The official says, in three months time, the garbage and soil will have turned into compost and we can plant directly into the pots. He himself has grown vines like bitter gourd, bottle gourd and beans already though he does them in sacks as his property is fully concrete. I now buy weekly and only as much as can be consumed by my family so we don't throw away any food. Also, we recycle leftover rice by making fried rice, or congee. And the leftover fried fish gets a makeover as sweet and sour fish. Chicken, beef and pork pieces get second life as noodle toppings, sauteed vegetable toppings or simply rice toppings. Our garbage volume was cut by more than half, too.Try it!
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Jul 08
Hello lotsalove. These are some very interesting ideas. I've never heard of putting leftovers in a ceramic pot before. Fried rice is a great way to use up leftover rice. You must feel very accomplished to have reduced your garbage by half. That's quite an achievement. Thank you for sharing your ideas.
@cher913 (25895)
• Canada
8 Jul 08
absolutely, we are eating more and freezing more of our leftovers even if it is just a little bit and adding to what ever is left out. i have always frozen bread and only take out the slices i need for that day.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Jul 08
Hello cher913. Sounds like you have this leftover thing completely under control. I have just placed both of our breads in the freezer as we are leaving town tomorrow. Thanks for sharing.
@baileycows (3670)
• United States
8 Jul 08
Yeah with food prices going through the roof. We have tried to limit ours. I know cut the amount of food I cook and then I started taking the left overs for lunch. This has helped cut down on waste a lot.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Jul 08
Hi baileycows. I'm definitely watching the amount I cook so that there aren't leftovers, unless I want to have something prepared for the next day. And we are also trying to eat all our leftovers, if possible. Thanks for sharing how you are handling these sky high food prices. I have learned a lot of good tips from this discussion. Take Care.
• Hong Kong
8 Jul 08
Yes everything is getting more and more expensive and we couldn't believe how fast the prices are going up (still going up!). Now, we make sure we eat the leftovers the next day and finish those up. We also try to stock up more "durable" eating items when they are on sale. I can't really think of anything else. But I really hope that I don't have to come up with "let's eat less" in near future *laughs*.
• United States
9 Jul 08
Hello wondericequeen. Sounds like you are figuring out ways to keep the costs down. When our store has "buy one get one free" sales, I try to take advantage of that. Yes, it's getting tougher and tougher to try to cut costs. Guess we are all in the same boat. Thanks for sharing your ideas.
@magojordan (3256)
• Philippines
8 Jul 08
In our house as much as possible we make sure that no food is thrown into the trash. Maybe because when we were kids we were taught to eat even the last grain of rice on our plate.I really hate it when I see people wasting food. Examples of these are people who cut off the sides of a bread, those who don't eat the pizza's crust and those who do binge eating then purging. I always say to myself how could this people waste so much food when there are a lot who has barely something to eat? You know that in this country some people would actually scour the trash from fast food chains to get some food.And usually they would get sick because of what they eat but they have no choice. They rather die full than die hungry. I hope a lot of people would realize that they shouldn't waste food because simply a lot of people are dying of hunger this very minute.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jul 08
Hello magojordan. It sounds like you are quite focused about not wasting any food. It is so sad to me that some people have to eat out of garbage, but I know it happens. I try not to throw out too much food, we are getting better at it. Thank you for your post to this discussion. Take care.
@JTerrasi (199)
• United States
8 Jul 08
We don't worry about left overs in our home. I have a 6'4" son that will eat anything. I am not saying he is overweight, he is just a big guy. And what he doesn't eat the cats will! Food is expensive and a gallon of milk...out of this world. But who can afford to go to the grocery store with the price of gas?? Thanks, Janet
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jul 08
Hi JTerrasi. It sounds like your son is the true answer to not throwing out leftovers! And the cats are his back-up. Yes, we are all dealing with rising prices at the grocery store and the gas station. I am sure we will all make it through but I am hoping some prices will drop soon. Thank you for taking part in this discussion and take care.
@jillhill (37354)
• United States
8 Jul 08
I am very lucky I live by myself and don't have to buy alot. I only eat here once a day....but I have noticed that if I want to have fresh stuff here I have to limit how much I buy as it goes to waste and I don't like wasting food. In the winter it's easier for me as I make big batches and freeze individual containers of them for later meals...but in the summer I think I eat differently. I feel sorry for families that have to go once a week! That's alot of bucks!
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jul 08
Jillhill, It does seem to be a little easier for those who live alone. I know that when my husband is not home, I will eat some popcorn and a piece of cheese for dinner, or open a can of chicken and eat a slice of bread. And just one person can pretty much estimate what they will want to be eating over the next few days. Thanks for your input on this one.
• United States
7 Jul 08
Yes food is getting more expensive and saving leftovers helps make the food last longer. I try not to waste anything either, we make menus and stick to them. I eat fruits and veggies with every meal so I don't have to toss anything out. Plus, you can find new ways to create food from existing leftovers, old bread can become crutons. Bananas that are getting too soft can be made into banana muffins or blended to make smoothies.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jul 08
Hello gitfiddleplayer. Sounds like you are in agreement with many of us on myLot, we've got to think creatively to use up the food and the leftovers. The crouton idea is interesting to me because, I've never tried to make my own. However, I love the idea about making banana muffins with the bananas that get too soft. And did you know, someone recently told me they actually freeze their soft bananas to make muffins or bread in the future?? Can you believe that? I'd never heard of that. Take care and thanks for the response.
@elmiko (6640)
• United States
7 Jul 08
I really don't have this problem because i've usually eat left overs to begin with. Theres all kinds of ways to save money such as unplugging electric things after useing them and not just turning them off. Things that run off of electricity still draw power unless you unplug it. I'm sure some people don't know this.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jul 08
Greetings elmiko. Good for you that you are so very diligent about using your leftovers. Thank you for your suggestion to unplug electric items not being used. Yes, I was actually aware of this as I write for the internet and did an article about saving money on one's electricity bill. This suggestion was one I included. Thank you for the reminder, though. I'm sure several other myLotters will see your suggestion, which will save them energy and money. Take care.
• United States
7 Jul 08
the food in my house never makes it to that point. if it isn't eaten the same day,it goes right into the next day's meal.nothing gets wasted. once in awhile i'll lose a potato to humidity,but that's about it.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jul 08
Very impressive, scarlet_woman. Good for you to be so diligent about using up all your food. I, too, live in a humid climate, which tends to spoil any produce (in just a few days) that isn't refrigerated, and our bread, too. Take care.
• United States
7 Jul 08
I do my best to not waste food either. I try to make just enough for us and not have left overs, if there is any left over, we feed it to our dog cause she loves people food. So there really is never any waste.
• United States
7 Jul 08
Hi tarheelnancy. Sounds like we are on the same page. I've recently adjusted the original amount of food I cook so that there are no leftovers. Now, if we want there to be leftovers, then, I go ahead and make the extra. We don't have a doggie, but that would be a wonderful use of leftover food. Bet that dog thinks you are the greatest thing ever for giving him/her all that people food! Take care and thanks for the post.
@Hatley (152320)
• Garden Grove, California
7 Jul 08
pearlgrace I never throw out leftovers instead they go in my fridge to be used the next day for lunch or dinner. I had pasta and tomato sauce leftovers for my lunch and it was delicious. I use up my food, and make various dishes from leftovers so nothing goes to waste or waist either.
• United States
7 Jul 08
Hi Hatley. Good for you, others have responded to this myLot discussion by stating they never throw out any food. Wonderful. We are being more diligent about eating leftovers now. Rather than cook a complete meal every night, now, we try to figure out what I can prepare to go with the leftovers from the prior night. That's working out really well. The fridge isn't as stuffed with leftovers either. Plus, we are saving a little bit of money at the store. Getting 2 or 3 meals out of a meat, rather than just 1 meal. In the past, I have "spoiled" my husband by not trying to serve the leftovers. But, recently, he realized how much groceries have gone up and is making a better effort to eat leftovers. So, that's cool. Thank you for your response, Hatley. Do take care.