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A Simple September Goal

by Shawanda Greene

Freezer full of food

This is not a photo of my freezer. I think mine is worse.

I only have one goal this month – to eat the food in my refrigerator.

Things are getting out of control. I’m to the point that I’m scared to open the fridge.

You know how it is. You open your freezer door, and brace yourself for the avalanche of food to come rolling out.

This is no way to live.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I spend a lot of money on food. Some months my food bill exceeds $700. Rarely is it less than $450. And yes, that’s for one person.

With the exception of rent, I spend more money on food than anything else. So, whenever I want to boost my savings, I look to my food budget for help. Since I’m a little off track with meeting my savings goals for 2011, I need to get serious about cutting my expenses. Gotta make these last four months count.

In order to achieve this modest goal of eating what I have already, I’m enacting a no-fail plan for my food. I’m gonna cook it and eat it. If I can’t eat all of the food I cook, then I’ll freeze it so that I can reheat and eat it later. If it’s disgusting, I’m going to toss it.

It’s such a simple strategy, how can it go wrong?

We shall see.

Photo credit: Steven Depolo

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Adria September 1, 2011 at 12:39 PM

I understand your problem. It is hard to get excited about cooking for one person. Hanging in there. Maybe you should invites some friends over a couple of nights. Good luck!

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Shawanda September 1, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Having people over is a good idea. But lately, I've drastically simplified my meals. I've pretty much stopped using recipes, and I use the same ingredients for almost every meal. It's quick. It's easy. It's delicious.

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sophie September 1, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Buy less groceries and eat out more? Things like a whole loaf of bread one person wont be able to eat by the time of expiration. We end up wasting a lot of food this way in my house and there's only two of us!

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Shawanda September 5, 2011 at 12:33 PM

I can NEVER eat an entire loaf of bread before it goes bad. My mother used to buy bread from the bread outlet and freeze it, but I don't have enough room for it.

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Lulu September 2, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Make sure to eat the food before it goes bad. I went crazy last week and bought a whole bunch of fruits….then today I had to throw out some raspberries coz they went bad. Grrrrrrr.

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Shawanda September 5, 2011 at 12:35 PM

It's a shame too, because raspberries are crazy expensive. Looking thru my refrigerator, I see I have a ton of frozen fruit that I bought to make smoothies. Maybe I can thaw them out and eat them with my granola and yogurt.

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One cent at a time September 2, 2011 at 12:59 PM

for the first time I visited you, nice website design. I am a fellow yakezie as well.

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Andy Hough September 2, 2011 at 3:26 PM

That sounds like a reasonable goal. We spend about $300 for 2.5 people and still give away food once or twice a month. I'd like to cut our food bill even more but we might be about as low as we can reasonably go.

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Shawanda September 5, 2011 at 12:36 PM

$300 for 2.5 people?! I need to take lessons from you.

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Dana September 3, 2011 at 1:54 PM

I think your strategy sounds great! I cook for 6 now and I do remember it being difficult to manage food when it was just myself. It was easier just to stick with the same meals so food wouldn't go to waste. (That or I ate out a whole lot :)

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Shawanda September 5, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Yep. That's what I've been doing, eating out a lot. If I just keep things simple, I won't be tempted to run to McDonald's or some place way more expensive.

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Barbara Friedberg September 3, 2011 at 8:32 PM

I get so happy when I can postpone grocery shopping a day or two or three…. and just eat out of the fridge and cupboards!! Go for the challenge!

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Shawanda September 5, 2011 at 12:41 PM

If I stay out of the grocery store, I won't be tempted to make impulse purchases and repeat the cycle of buying too much food and throwing away my money.

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@DebtChronicles September 3, 2011 at 10:20 PM

Wow…if you spend $700 on food, you spend more on food than I do for my family of 4 in a month! :) Great Goal, though – I bet you can come up with some great stuff if you really have that much stuff in your fridge! Good luck!

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Shawanda September 5, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Well, that figure includes beverages, i.e., alcoholic beverages. But I'm doing good on that front too. I'm down to like one box of wine every two months. :) I've saved quite a bit of money and lost weight as a result.

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Doctor Stock September 4, 2011 at 1:27 AM

Depth is the curse of the organized freezer… keep it narrow and shallow… and it will remain cleaner. I think as you empty it, you'll find all sorts of delights!

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Shawanda September 5, 2011 at 12:46 PM

You're right about that. I've managed to overlook an entire pack of bacon. It's amazing how often I buy food I already have.

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