Too busy to be frugal

@GreenMoo (11842)
April 9, 2009 2:27pm CST
Life has been terribly hectic recently, and as a result I've been slacking in my efforts to be frugal in the kitchen. The other day I discovered a bag of strawberries I'd bought as a treat for the kids, only they were mouldy and good for nothing but composting. And it wasn't the first fruit and veg wasted recently either, I could kick myself as it's nothing but money down the drain (or in the compost heap in my case!. Am I the only one who's habits slip when life gets busy? How do you ensure that foodstuffs don't accidentally spoil when your concentration is elsewhere?
6 people like this
23 responses
@Trensue (5255)
• United States
9 Apr 09
We've started the habit of putting a note on the fridge door of the things that are likely to go bad - It helps who ever is looking to snack or help prepare a meal remember to use perishables up. I suppose visitors would guess ti was a grocery list. I can say it has helped with our family
2 people like this
@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Apr 09
That's a good idea Trensue. I'm trying to make a menu a few days in advance to help me remember everything that needs using, but I must admit I've not been terribly good about it recently.
@Trensue (5255)
• United States
12 Apr 09
I am so sorry I don't have spell check. I can not wait till I have 500 posts and can copy and paste!
@Theresam (1181)
• United States
18 Apr 09
I love that idea I am going to borrow it! thanks so much for sharing it
@katsmeow1213 (28982)
• United States
9 Apr 09
No you're not alone. I actually do that quite often, not just when life is hectic. I'll just buy stuff and forget that I got it. I also tend to forget about left overs and other such things. Once a month or so I'll go through the fridge and throw out a lot of things that have gone bad and grown fuzz all over it.
2 people like this
@GreenMoo (11842)
9 Apr 09
It's pretty unusual in my case, which is why i'm so cross with myself. I sort of feel that there's only so many things my brain can cope with just now lol, and food is pretty far down the list!
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (92387)
• Marion, Kansas
9 Apr 09
I get mad at myself when I waste food. I believe it is because there were times when we went without when I was a kid.
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@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Apr 09
I can relate to that feeling GardenGerty. I just detest waste in any form.
@Lindalinda (4116)
• Canada
9 Apr 09
Yes it gets really hard to keep track of everything when life gets busy. I go through my fridg once a week before shopping and make sure I don't buy stuff that I already have. Also if there is fruit that I bought a few days before, such as berries I either have them for breakfast or as dessert. All we can do is trying.
@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Apr 09
You're right, all we can do is try!
@freak369 (4743)
• United States
9 Apr 09
I've had the same thing happen with bagged lettuce. I bu a few of them (.99 cents) with the hopes that we'll have a huge salad with lots of yummy extras and it never happens. One bag got shoved so far back in the crisper drawer that it was completely rotten by time I found it. For me its not a matter of not having enough time, its getting everyone together for dinner at the same time.
2 people like this
@GreenMoo (11842)
9 Apr 09
Lettuce 'goes' pretty quick though, so I think you can be forgiven losing the odd one. i find they turn yucky extra quick when they touch the sides / back of the firdge, so now I don't refrigerate them and they actually end up lasting longer!
1 person likes this
@guybrush (4662)
• Australia
11 Apr 09
This happens to me quite often, GreenMoo, and I get really cross with myself. Only this morning I found half a cabbage which I'd bought a few weeks ago, intending to us it in stir fries - then I forgot all about it, and it's not looking too marvellous now. Also, I tend to buy sixpacks of yoghurt, and invariably there are a couple which are still left after the use-by date. Cereal is also a problem in our house - sometimes we eat a lot, and and other times it sits there in the boxes until it eventually gets weevils. Apparently, wasted food in landfills is causing methane gas to build up, and we are being encouraged to try not to waste so much - they've actually calculated around $40 worth of food is thrown away from the average person's grocery shop - which is pretty shocking! I'm going to be more careful in future.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Apr 09
I saw allot of publicity about food wastage in the UK, and the amounts they reckon the average household wastes are horrific! I guess I should be congratulating myself rather than beating myself up, but I just hate to throw things away.
@guybrush (4662)
• Australia
12 Apr 09
Thank you very much for the best response, GreenMoo! I think if we were all more aware of waste, we'd choose our grocery purchases with more care. These days, I also try to buy articles with less packaging if I can.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
16 Apr 09
You're welcome! Packaging waste is really quite scary when you think about it. Imagine the technology, the resources and effort that go into making a piece of plastic wrap. then we just chuck it away! That's why I was so pleased to find beans I could buy loose the other day (I wrote a discussion about it, though no-one else seems to be interested lol). I can take my own container.
@p1kef1sh (45647)
10 Apr 09
I found some carrots like that. At least we can compost them and do something useful with them. I try to be organised but it just doesn't happen that way all the time. I have no method other than eye sight I am afraid.
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@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Apr 09
My eye sight is obviously failing. Must be old get creeping up on me!
@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Apr 09
Old age, obviously. See, I can't even type any more!
@Raven1 (577)
• Australia
28 Apr 09
No matter how busy I am - eating well is an important part of my life. I want to set a good example for my 4 year old daughter, so even after a busy day working I'll still make sure we're eating fresh fruit and vegetables. It only takes a few minutes to make a simple meal using what fresh food you have in the fridge and it's healthier for you than sitting in front of the computer...
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
2 May 09
I absolutely agree Raven. It's just that occassionally some of those lovely fresh fruits and vegetables get overlooked and spoil. I get incredibly cross with myself when that happens, as really there's no excuse for not spotting them sooner and using them up.
@cher913 (25895)
• Canada
16 Apr 09
that has happened to me too. i am really busy but always try to check my freezer and fridge. if i see something that is still ok but a little bad, i cut out the bad part and still eat it! or i use it for something else like apple sauce or banana bread.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
16 Apr 09
It's very rare I actually throw something away. It has to be pretty grim (like my recent strawberries) for me to do so. On the rare occassions that I do, my chickens are normally very grateful for it!
• United States
11 Apr 09
I do it. I think we all do it. I had to actually start checking the fridge for that kind of thing right before I went to the store. Know what caused it? The 4 things of celery.
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@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Apr 09
FOUR things of celery! That's allot of celery. Celery soup maybe, to use it up?
@laglen (19783)
• United States
10 Apr 09
I understand. This happens to me as well. I have found that if keep the fruit visible, then it will get eaten. But I am all for everything in it's place and like to keep it in the drawer, but nobody will eat it unless I am pushing it! Also, when I am really busy, I tend to get food away from home and this is a huge waste!
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Apr 09
On the one hand, keeping fruit on display makes sure it is eaten up. On the other, it gets eaten twice as fast!!
@sweetdesign (5151)
• United States
10 Apr 09
I think we have all dealt with this from time to time. I use green bags for my produce to extend thier lives. I know that when I buy fresh fruit and veggies (we buy a lot till the garden starts to produce for us) I tend to forget about them so the green bags help keep them nicer longer. They are called Debbie Meyer's Green bags and they really work. They can be reused too so that helps out alot. I will be using them for our veggies from the garden also, that which we do not freeze or put in jars.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Apr 09
I've seen something similar in a catalogue we get. It's good to hear that they really work.
• Ireland
10 Apr 09
I think not only you face this problem,with the rapid pace of the life and work,most of the persons have no more extra time to manage their own kitchen,and they pay little attention to their own bite and sup,which lead to always forget some foods or vegetables leave at home.The best way to avoid this situation is that make the regular schedule,not only in your work,but also in your daily life,no matter what you want to do,if you do it according to the schedule which made already,i think you can avoid the same things happened often.Just do it,just try,keep insisting!
@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Apr 09
I've been trying to make up menus, but I must admit I've not been working at it much lately.
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
10 Apr 09
It's particularly hard for me since I live alone. It's not so much my life might be hectic which allows for food to spoil on me, but because I really wish in many cases one could buy/choose amounts of foods, especially certain fruits or vegetables that don't come in prepackaged sizes, sizes that are usually too much for one person to use up right away.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Apr 09
I think there are many people in your situation, wishing they could buy just one or two of soemthing rather than a full packet. I imagine this is where a freeer would be a big help to you.
@silverglint (2001)
• Philippines
10 Apr 09
My family is notorious when it comes to wasting food, whether its spoiled food, expired canned goods or juices. I am also unable to help because all of us are too busy with work and other stuffs. Maybe if we are a little more organized, like making sure that all the first things bought are the first ones to be consumed, or if we plan our groceries before we actually buy them, then we would be able to save more on the budget we spend on food.
@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Apr 09
I find that many foodstuffs are perfectly fine to eat after the best before date has expired. Don't automatically throw them away without checking!
@KrauseHome (33888)
• United States
10 Apr 09
Personally there are times when it is hard to remember to Eat some of the things you buy. I have done this many times myself, and then want to kick myself for it as well. I have bought lettuce for Salads from time to time, and forget, and other stuff and then want to kick myself for sure. I guess the main thing is making a list of such things I buy and then remember to eat them as well.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Apr 09
Lettuce seems to be coming up again and again in this discussion. Looks like it's the most wasted foodstuff amoungst myLotters!
@lynnemg (4540)
• United States
10 Apr 09
I have found myself slipping a lot lately too. Between being busy with the kids' activities and Easter, not to mantion my normal everyday have-to-do's, I have found myself not being as frugal as I like to be. I get very frustrated with myself when I end up buying something that I know I can make a lot cheaper just because I am in a rush.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Apr 09
I can so relate to getting frustrated. But it doesn't help!
@taface412 (3177)
• United States
10 Apr 09
I've lost heads of lettuce before where i swore I was going to chop up and store in a container for a quick salad. And of course even if I did that I forgot it in the fridge and found it all soggy mess.....so it happens. Now I try to just make sure I keep a close eye on the fridge, make up containers with lunches for my work or my mom for a quick lunch...things like that that take a few extra minutes during the clean up after dinner helps me save time and money....because I get mad too when I have to throw food out...or give it to the dogs.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Apr 09
Even my dogs won't eat past it's best lettuce!
@GardenGerty (92387)
• Marion, Kansas
9 Apr 09
Oh, I know exactly how that is. I just pitched some stuff from my veggie tray. I try to not buy them unless I will use them right away. I do find myself doing more impulse shopping, more eating out, and less healthy eating right now. I am very busy with my job, and then I have also been sick. Not a good combination for saving money.
@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Apr 09
I normally shop twice a week, which means fresh stuff gets used up between shops, but these things seemed to just slip through the net. I do hope your health is on the mend GardenGerty.
@dragon54u (31352)
• United States
9 Apr 09
I've done that more times than I can count! My answer is to keep my cupboards and fridge as empty as possible. I have emergency supplies in the basement so it's not like I'll ever run out of things and get in trouble and go hungry, but if I can't see what I have it will go to waste. I hate it when good food goes to waste!
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
9 Apr 09
I'm so cross with myself, as the things that I've allowed to go bad recently have all been 'treats' and therefore extra expensive!
• United States
24 Apr 09
Life has been super crazy and we have been slipping too, but it is showing in the budget and that has been a reminder to get control of things again. I know it is a lot of work but to me it is like a job that I enjoy. I know that when I am working to save money I am essentialy making money for the family as well since we dont have to spend it. It s a ballance to live your life and live frugally too.
@GreenMoo (11842)
25 Apr 09
That's exactly the attitude I strive for. Did you read The Tightwad Gazette, by any chance?