Menu Plan Monday ~ Jan 4, 2010

by Shawanda Greene

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One of my top New Year’s resolutions is to reduce waste by 75% in 2010. When you’re as frugal as I am, it’s painful to throw things in the garbage that could’ve been put to good use.

To the extent possible, I try to ensure my possessions find a proper home before making their way to the landfill. However, food is a tough one. Even when I carefully plan my meals, sometimes I’m not in the mood for the meals I planned. Sometimes I’m too lazy or too busy to cook. Unfortunately, when food is no use to you, it’s usually no use to anyone else.

Unlike other frivolous purchases, food has a way of forcing you to acknowledge your faults sooner rather than later. You can’t hide it in the garage and carry on about your life as if you’ve got it all put together. Nope. With food, the day of reckoning is nigh.

Earlier today, I threw out two tangerines that went bad before I got around to eating them. It felt like a little piece of me died as I tossed them in the trash. No more! Uh, actually, I can’t commit to zero waste. But 75% less waste I can do.

This year will be different.

This won’t be easy. In order to reduce waste, I must cook the food I’ve purchased. I’ve thawed meat too many times only to let it fester and spoil in the refrigerator because I wasn’t up for cooking it. *Sigh*

I have to do better. I will do better.

Here’s what I’m responsible for cooking this week. I’ll report back with results.

Monday - Curried Rice with Shrimp

Tuesday - Black Bean Soup with Sausage (slow cooker recipe)

Wednesday – Leftovers

Thursday Filipino Adobo and Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter

Saturday - Sauteed Tilapia with Lemon-Peppercorn Pan Sauce

Saturday - Broccoli Bakers (How to Bake Potatoes Video)

Sunday – Beef & Broccoli over Jasmine Rice

Check out other options on Menu Plan Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam January 4, 2010 at 12:12 AM

Great post! I just threw out some bananas and felt that pain of wasted food and money. I tend to feel that if I buy more fruits and veggies I'll eat more of them. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't…


Shawanda January 4, 2010 at 12:39 AM

Thanks! You can freeze bananas before they go bad. Frozen bananas should work okay for smoothies. Doubt they're any good for casual eating.

I did my grocery shopping this morning. Even though it's cheaper per piece to buy fruit in bulk, i.e., by the bag, I decided to pick out only a few that I can eat within a reasonable length of time. I'm hoping I'll eat more fruits, vegetables and nuts, because there's nothing else to snack on in my apartment. It's best not to tempt myself. Although sometimes I get a little carried away with cashews and almonds.


Matt SF January 4, 2010 at 12:43 AM

I'm so glad I'm not the only one that does… I plan most of my meals at least a week 3 days in advance.

If I have leftovers, they're usually lunch the next day.


Shawanda January 4, 2010 at 3:34 AM

I've been trying to strike the right balance. One time I ate chicken stew for an entire work week, because I didn't want it to go to waste. Recently I ate chili and cornbread for 4 days straight before I couldn't stand it anymore and let it go bad. That's where freezing comes in.


bloominglater January 4, 2010 at 1:48 AM

i am so very glad to know that i am not the only one who feels so badly when i do this. it's such a waste. the problem with me is that i am falling into an old habit that my mother taught me: eat whatever's left in the pan so there are no leftovers. of course, that can lead to weight gain. she knew then and i know now that leftovers are called such for a reason. no one wants to eat them! =) we have a refrigerator full of food that is bad, we've just been too lazy to discard it. perhaps i should start tracking the food that i throw away as well. might help. great post! thanks!


Shawanda January 4, 2010 at 3:37 AM

You're right! It works for every vice. I should keep a piece of paper on the fridge and log when I throw stuff in the garbage. I'd feel even worse if I had to write down the waste. All the more reason to do it.


Debbie January 3, 2010 at 11:08 PM

I would love for you to join me for Crock Pot Wednesday. Your black bean soup would be perfect for that. Happy New Year.


Rosetta Thurman January 17, 2010 at 4:58 PM

I've started weekly menu planning too as part of my 2010 personal commitments. Not only does it save me money, but my body feels a whole lot better when I eat my own food versus eating out. I only make 3 dishes though, then rotate them throughout the week as leftovers. Your menu struck me because Filipino Adobo often shows up on my menus! It's so easy to make and keeps well in the fridge. Just had some last night. Thanks for sharing all your money-saving tips!


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