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    Thumbs up 15 Ways to Stop Wasting Money on Food

    Kimberly Palmer, On Wednesday October 26, 2011, 3:27 pm EDT

    As anyone who's ever cleaned up after a dinner party knows, Americans waste a lot of food. In addition to the fruit, vegetables, and other items that go bad in our own kitchens, farmers and grocery stores toss unused goods as well. According to Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland, it adds up to at least 160 billion pounds of wasted food each year. The problem is considered so serious that food industry groups have launched an initiative to reduce the amount of food that ends up in landfills while increasing the amount that goes to food banks.

    In his book, Bloom says Americans themselves can also do a lot to stop food waste, starting with a few adjustments to refrigerator organization. Bloom recommends keeping a "use it up" shelf for items that will soon go bad so you remember to eat them. Here are 15 more recommendations from Bloom on how to waste less money on food:

    1. Buy less food overall. The European model of more frequent and even daily shopping trips can help reduce food waste compared with the more American-style mega-shopping sprees on the weekends. After all, when you're shopping on Sunday for Friday's meals, the chances of food spoiling in the interim is greater. Plus, shopping more frequently gives you flexibility to make use of unexpected leftovers, Bloom says.

    2. Keep your fridge uncluttered. If you can't see the hummus, you might forget to eat it. (That's also where Bloom's "use it up" shelf helps.) He also suggests putting new groceries in the back and pushing older items to the front.

    3. Make French toast. The classic recipe uses slightly stale bread; bread pudding and bread crumbs serve the same purpose. Banana bread similarly makes use of old bananas. Bloom also suggests chicken pot pies, chicken salad, fried rice, and soups for getting the most out of leftovers and vegetables approaching their expiration dates. (The recipe finder tool on Allrecipes.com makes it easy to look up uses for extra food.) You can also use leftover chicken bones and vegetable scraps to make your own stock, which can then serve as a base for soups.

    4. Ignore expiration dates. Well, maybe not completely, but because those dates tend to be conservative, Bloom recommends relying more on your own senses to determine whether or not food is still edible.

    5. Decline the "extras" at restaurants. Once the bread basket hits your table, it can no longer be served to others, so speak up if you'd rather skip the carbo-loading before the main meal. Similarly, if you're not going to eat the fries that come with your meal, let your server know.

    6. Bring home leftovers. Some restaurants are famous for large servings; don't let the leftovers go to waste. Bringing your own container for them makes the choice more environmentally-friendly, too.

    7. Use smaller plates at home. One of the families Bloom profiles in the book uses smaller plates to encourage taking smaller servings, which can then be refilled if necessary. That way, children (and adults) are less likely to take more than they will eat.

    8. Cook more. Bloom found that people are less likely to waste food that they or a loved one made, which means home-cooked meals have a better chance of avoiding the garbage disposal.

    9. Grow your own herbs. The small amount of basil or mint often called for in recipes can lead to big waste, since you often have to purchase a larger bunch. Instead, consider growing the herbs yourself in small indoor pots, or plan several herb-heavy recipes in one week. Bloom also suggests dicing and freezing herbs in ice cube trays with water for longer-term storage.

    10. Shop for fruits and vegetables last. Most of us do the opposite, since produce sections are usually the first we enter, but Bloom recommends saving it for last to protect them from getting buried and bruised by heavier items, and also to keep them refrigerated as much as possible.

    11. Eat before you shop. Shopping on an empty stomach tends to lead to impulse buys and unnecessary stocking up.

    12. Limit bulk buys. As research from Harvard Business School has shown, stocking up on items can lead to overspending (and waste), especially if we don't get the chance to use up all that cream cheese before it gets moldy.

    13. Save and eat leftovers. Some items, such as chili and meatloaf, taste even better the next day.

    14. Use your freezer. Putting long-term leftovers in the freezer, along with other freezable items that you can't use right away, can help reduce the amount that ends up in the trash. Using sealed bags will help prevent freezer burn.

    15. Label items. Writing down the date and a description can help remind you to use them up. Bloom adds that including the monetary value of items can also provide an incentive to avoid waste.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/15-Way...047759464.html
    Laissez les bon temps rouler! Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.** a 4 day work week & sex slaves ~ I say Tyt for PRESIDENT! Not to be taken internally, literally or seriously ....Suki ebaynni IS THAT BETTER ?

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    I did see one tip on an egg carton. It had the sell buy date and then it had the use by date which was 15 days later. That made me feel better about using eggs beyond the sell buy date. Sometimes I take spells and use them quick sometimes they live in the refrigerator but I hate to be without them and now I know a safe date to use them by

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    5 Ways To Stretch Your Dollar With What's In The Fridge
    By David Bakke | Investopedia – Thu, Dec 29, 2011 11:32 AM EST


    In a struggling economy, people are constantly on the lookout for ways to save. And since groceries are the second highest monthly expense in most households, finding ways to reduce spending in this area is key. For example, you can shop at multiple stores to get the best deals, and you should never shop when you're hungry.

    Surprisingly, however, one often overlooked way to save is to make the most of what you already have on hand. There are a variety of delicious ways to use this strategy, plus a few other tips to save on groceries:

    Substitute Ingredients

    Instead of making an extra trip to the grocery store for a certain ingredient, consider a cheaper option or one you already have. Here are several examples:

    * Cottage Cheese for Ricotta. If a recipe calls for ricotta cheese, consider substituting it with cottage cheese. Few will know the difference, and when it comes to lasagna, some people claim the overall taste is actually improved.

    * Dried Spices for Fresh. Many pantries are stocked with a full complement of dried spices. Though most chefs will tell you that using fresh is a must, in most cases, this is simply not true. Rather than waste time and money to buy fresh spices, use what you already have on hand - the taste difference is often negligible. Rosemary and oregano are prime examples of this, though basil is one notable exception.

    * Store Brands. Choosing a generic over a name brand is sure to save you money at the grocery store. If the ingredient in question is a staple like pasta, rice or beans, pick up the store brand instead. Sometimes the generic and the name brand are both made by the same company.

    * Tomato Paste for Tomato Sauce. If you're preparing a large recipe that calls for tomato sauce, pick up a few cans of tomato paste instead. Add water and the appropriate spices, and you'll have a cheaper alternative to bottled tomato sauce from the store.

    * Cranberry Juice for Red Wine. Cranberry juice is definitely cheaper and will give an equal flavor profile to red wine in most recipes.

    Reduce Pantry Inventory
    If you find a great deal on a non-perishable item, by all means, stock up. But if you're constantly moving cans around in your cabinet to see what's behind them, then it's time to use them. In fact, even non-perishables have a use-by date and most go bad after a few years. Though a canned food diet can be an economical way to go, it's not necessarily healthy. If you're cooking with pantry inventory, don't forget to supplement meals with fresh foods and vegetables as well.

    Get Creative
    Creating a tasty dish with items you already have isn't very difficult. For example, cut up and sauté whatever vegetables you have on hand. Throw in some chicken or beans and cooked rice or pasta. Then, add water or broth and spices to taste, and a delicious soup is only minutes away.

    Another great recipe idea is to use mashed potatoes as a base. This is quite a versatile ingredient. You can add beef, chicken, or cooked vegetables, top with melted cheese, and serve a hearty dish that is sure to be loved by all. It just comes down to creativity. Don't limit yourself to existing recipes, as you can easily come up with your own.

    De-Clutter the Freezer
    If your freezer is anything like mine, there is usually a goldmine of food at your disposal there. Foods have a tendency of getting lost in the freezer, and they can pile up quickly. Consider this: if you have $200 worth of food in your freezer, that's $200 in groceries you don't have to buy. Defrost that leftover soup from a while back, or take out meat, seafood or chicken and put it to good use.

    Go Fresh
    Purchasing fresh foods and vegetables over pre-processed ones will save you loads of money in the long run and help you avoid a host of potential health issues. You may spend a little more time in the kitchen, but the dishes you prepare will be tastier and healthier. Try your local farmer's market to pay less for fresher fruits and veggies than the grocery store variety.

    The Bottom Line
    Sure, you can save a lot of money by stocking up on grocery store deals, but you need to actually eat that food to realize the savings. From time to time, review what you have in stock, and work on using all of the items. Also, supplement your diet with fresh foods, which are often more economical and healthier than buying pre-packaged and processed meals.

    tp://finance.yahoo.com/news/5-ways-stretch-dollar-whats-163208016.html
    Laissez les bon temps rouler! Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.** a 4 day work week & sex slaves ~ I say Tyt for PRESIDENT! Not to be taken internally, literally or seriously ....Suki ebaynni IS THAT BETTER ?

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    Did anyone watch the Food Network show about waste? They Bobby Flay, Alex Guarneschelli, Anne Burrell, and Michael Simon cook an entire gourmet dinner for 100 foodies and critics, etc.. made COMPLETELY (other than seasonings, maybe) out of wasted food. They found bags and bags of food thrown out at groceries, meat that butchers were going to throw out because it was too "small", produce that was going to be thrown out because of purely cosmetic blemishes, and tons of other stuff. It was CRAZY how much food is just thrown away by people and businesses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gocards View Post
    Did anyone watch the Food Network show about waste? They Bobby Flay, Alex Guarneschelli, Anne Burrell, and Michael Simon cook an entire gourmet dinner for 100 foodies and critics, etc.. made COMPLETELY (other than seasonings, maybe) out of wasted food. They found bags and bags of food thrown out at groceries, meat that butchers were going to throw out because it was too "small", produce that was going to be thrown out because of purely cosmetic blemishes, and tons of other stuff. It was CRAZY how much food is just thrown away by people and businesses.
    YES!!! i saw that and was appalled at how much waste we have! we could feed many small countries with what we waste. and like you said, most of it is because it wasnt "pretty" enough!
    what a shame...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Airbuswife View Post
    YES!!! i saw that and was appalled at how much waste we have! we could feed many small countries with what we waste. and like you said, most of it is because it wasnt "pretty" enough!
    what a shame...
    And we might even feed our own poor and needy as well!
    What Goes Around, Comes Around

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    Quote Originally Posted by baragabrat View Post
    and we might even feed our own poor and needy as well!
    absolutely!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Airbuswife View Post
    YES!!! i saw that and was appalled at how much waste we have! we could feed many small countries with what we waste. and like you said, most of it is because it wasnt "pretty" enough!
    what a shame.
    ..

    While I agree with this, I also have to say we need to blame ourselves too. How many times do you go to the produce aisle and pick out the ''best looking'' fruit? Chances are you (in general) leave behind the one that's not so pretty, and it eventually gets thrown away.

    And just out of curiosity, did they say why the bags of food at the grocery stores was thrown out? A lot of things have exp dates on them.

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    A lot was exactly what you said...bruises, etc..that I know I have also been guilty of doing. There were bags and bags of produce. There was a seafood store where people had ordered large specialty fish and then cancelled and they couldn't use it before it would become unsafe, so it was kept in a cooler until that time. (they picked it up BEFORE it was unsafe) There was a butcher where they sliced meat like at the deli, and when they got towards the end of the cut, the slices would be smaller and less meaty, so instead of making the smaller slices, they just threw the ends away. They went to a couple of farms, like apple orchards and such, and they said anything on the ground would never be picked up and almost all of it would be thrown into the compost heap, even though it was in perfect condition and at the peak of its harvest. There was a chicken farm where all the chicken that had a wing broken during processing was thrown out, because no one would buy them. Everything they got had to be checked by a Food Safety inspector and all but one chunk of meat passed the inspection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gocards View Post
    Did anyone watch the Food Network show about waste? They Bobby Flay, Alex Guarneschelli, Anne Burrell, and Michael Simon cook an entire gourmet dinner for 100 foodies and critics, etc.. made COMPLETELY (other than seasonings, maybe) out of wasted food. They found bags and bags of food thrown out at groceries, meat that butchers were going to throw out because it was too "small", produce that was going to be thrown out because of purely cosmetic blemishes, and tons of other stuff. It was CRAZY how much food is just thrown away by people and businesses.
    That really is amazing isn't it? All the while people are dying of hunger in other places. Wow....

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    we have poeple here that are hungrey feed our own then think else where

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