Mealtime Strategies

Earlier last week researchers published studies showing the alarming amount of food waste in America. This problem is bigger than just tossed leftovers because it runs rampant through wasteful supermarket practices and discards from oversized portions at restaurants. However, a little creativity at home can go a long way in making sure that each family does its part to limit the weekly landfill load.

Laziness has been a huge motivator for minimizing food waste in my house. Even though it takes more thinking in advance, extra prep work can simplify cooking additional meals or allow for tastier leftovers. Since cooking at home is the most economical way to provide my family with healthy meals, I’ve learned to stretch a dollar by stretching ingredients. I love to create a diverse menu simply by layering ingredients or repurposing them. My Pyrex food containers are the perfect kitchen tool for this because they are versatile for storage, cooking, and rewarming. By using glassware, I’m saving money versus the disposable storage counterparts.

My “kitchen mantra” is cook once, eat twice. Here’s an example of a weekly menu that uses every bite in the fridge:

Monday -Rotisserie Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Green beans

Tuesday – Steak with Portabella mushrooms, Mashed Potatoes, Corn

Wednesday – Chicken pot pie

Thursday – Sauteed Peppers and Onions on Sausage Sandwiches

Friday – Portabella, pepper and onion quesadillas (These are out of this world!!), Mexican Rice and Beans

Saturday – Rotini with sausage

Sunday – Burritos with rice and beans

These suit our tastes and the variations make it seem like we’re not having leftovers for every meal. Often, I do cook enough so that there are leftovers for lunch so it’s important to me that each dinner is unique. I rarely spend more than half an hour cooking, which gives me the time to keep up with my girls! I know that there are even more ways to save money and eat healthier, homemade foods. I’m consistently inspired to try new things, but I’m trying not to get overwhelmed by taking on too many kitchen challenges at once. What are some of your favorite ways to put a quick and economical meal on the table?

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