Food Waste In America – Wait! Don’t Throw That Out!

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food waste in amercia

This week we picked up four boxes of discard fruits and vegetables from Mr. Produce Guy.

organic bananas

How do you eat your banana’s? Do you prefer them green? Totally yellow, or with a few spots?

My grandfather would wait until a banana was practically black before he ate it. As a kid I thought it was gross, but as an adult I now know that each one of those brown spots on a banana means the banana is ripening and the more spots, the sweeter the banana.

But it makes we wonder, what are people thinking when they will only BUY a totally yellow {or yellowish green} banana at the grocery store? Are they actually eating them that way? If they bring the bananas home and don’t eat them before the brown spots appear, do they toss them out?

Have we become banana snobs?

food waste in america

I don’t know, maybe I’m losing it. Maybe after bringing home so many boxes of free produce over the past year I’ve turned into some sort of pro ripe fruit crazy person and soon I’ll be chanting “Save the fruit… it’s still good!” up and down the grocery aisles.

Yep, that’s where you are going to find me. In the produce section, comforting the ripe fruit. If you see me there, stop and say hello. ;)

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

Yonanas 901 Deluxe Ice Cream Treat Maker

Yonanas Deluxe Ice Cream Treat Maker – Perfect if you have a lot of extra fruit!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Mondays with Mavis – How to Feed Your Family for $100 a Month

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tropicana juice

Albertsons $13.17 

Albertsons had a juice deal last week where if you bought one bottle of orange juice at $4.99 you got 2 additional for free so I loaded up. Oh yes I did! The juice doesn’t expire until around mid August so I’m pretty excited.

bobs steel cut oats

Amazon Grocery – FREE

I redeemed some of my Swagbucks for an Amazon gift card and went shopping in Amazon’s Grocery Department. If you want to learn about Swagbucks, head on over HERE.

food waste in america pictures

Free Produce – Thanks Mr. Produce Guy!

fresh vegetables

Fresh vegetables from the garden. See how many pounds I’ve harvested so far this year.

sugar snap peas

Give peas a chance! We have so many peas right now, it’s crazy!!

fresh strawberries in hand

Strawberries, yep. We’ve got those too. Last week I made strawberry kiwi jam, strawberry freezer jam, strawberry pie, and another 2 batches of homemade strawberry shortcake.

how to harvest rhubarb mavis

Rhubarb!  Do you even know how incredibly cool it is to be able to walk out your back door and dig for your dinner? Seriously, I feel like such a pilgrim sometimes it makes me weepy.

fresh eggs

And last but not least, fresh eggs! Imagine a basket of these babies everyday. Kind of makes going to the grocery store a chore when everything you need is right out your backyard huh?

Life is good. Not perfect, but good.

How about YOU? Are you seeing your grocery bill decline now that the vegetables are starting to roll in?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $13.17

Total Spent This Year $1,054.85

Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $893.99 {I bought a Meyer Lemon Tree, Rhubarb crowns, 6 Fruit Trees , 16 yards of soil}, Walla Walla Onions and 90 pounds of seed potatoesPlus, supplies to make my own potting soil. I also picked up a boatload of heirloom tomato plants at the Seattle Tilth sale.

Read more Shopping Trip Stories.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Shopping For New Toilet Seats at the Home Depot

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home depot toilet seat cover (1)

Over the weekend the Handsome Husband and I spent some quality time together at the Home Depot shopping for new toilet seats.

To say the HH and I don’t shop well together would be an understatement. It’s not that we don’t like the same things, it just that whole coming to a conclusion thing that gets my eyes rolling and has me looking feverishly for the exit sign.

Don’t get me wrong, I think my husband is great.

But if I see something I like and the price is right, I grab it. I am a mom with teenagers after all and making split second decisions 24/7 is what I do best. I don’t need to stand there and read every word on the package or debate about it for a half an hour. I just grab and go. But the HH, he’s a thinker that one. Oh yes, shopping is a process.

toilet seat cover

A couple of years ago the HH woke up one morning and decided we needed new toilet seats. So he bought wood toilet seats. Wood toilet seats painted white to be exact. Who on earth buys white wooden toilet seats? They have this thing called PLASTIC now. You know, the stuff that’s really easy to clean and disinfect?

Fast forward a couple of years and now the paint has worn off select areas of the toilet seats, leaving them with some sort of greyish black tint to them. {I’ll spare you the photos}. I have tried bleaching the stupid toilet seats time and time again to no avail. The last straw with the stupid white toliet seats was last month when my buddies Amberlina and Lola were over and I felt the need to explain to them that even though the toilet seats may look dirty, they were in fact clean. Yep. Good times.

toilet seat

By the way, have you priced toilet seats lately? Forty bucks! Are you kidding me? Note to self: buying new toilet seats ranks right up there with purchasing a new refrigerator, or a dishwasher. A necessary purchases that I despise spending money on.

home depot toilet seat covers

Let’s just hope these seats last longer than the last ones.

~Mavis

P.S. Do YOU and your husband shop well together, or am I the only one who finds it difficult?

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Food Waste In America – What Should I Do with Kiwis and Red Bananas?

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food waste in america

Last week I hit the motherload of free produce. It was nuts! You can definitely tell when things start to pick up in the produce section and people start to buy more fruit.

Although the free produce boxes from Mr. Produce Guy were overflowing again this week, the pickings were kind of slim when compared to last weeks findings.

bruised pears

There were lots of bruised pears, a few apples and one lonely banana as well.

wrinkled avocado

Wrinkled avocados. :(

soft watermelon

Squishy unwrapped watermelon. Good for chickens, not so good for people.

red bananas

Red bananas? I don’t think I’ve ever had a red banana before. Do they taste any different than the yellow ones? Does anyone know?

food waste in america pictures

After everything was picked over, this is what we saved to eat ourselves. Not to shabby if you ask me. I have no idea what we are going to do with all those kiwis or red bananas, but I’m not complaining. Free is free, no matter how you look at it.

I’m just happy I’ve been able to save my family thousands of dollars over the past 14 months from the reclaimed produce boxes we pick up each week.

If you have any great kiwi recipes, please leave me your recipe {or a link} in the comment section below.

Peace Out Girl Scouts,

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

To read more on the topic of food waste.  Check out the book Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal By Tristram Stuart.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mondays with Mavis – How to Feed Your Family for $100 a Month

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amazon grocery deals

This was one of those weeks where there were so many different ways to save, that creativity definitely came in to play. Although there were no double coupons like the old days, it just goes to show show you there are a ton of different ways you can save on your grocery bill.

Amazon Grocery – FREE

I redeemed some of my Swagbucks for an Amazon gift card and went shopping in Amazon’s Grocery Department. If you want to learn about Swagbucks, head on over HERE.

red peppers

Fred Meyer $6.72

My neighbor Hulda and I got together and did some canning last week and my contribution was canning jars, lids, pickling salt, spices and peppers. I had originally stopped by Safeway to get my peppers for $0.50 each but they were all sold out. They suggested I get a rain check but I needed the peppers for the next day so I went to Fred Meyer and asked if they would price match. It was the first time I think I have ever asked Fred Meyer to price match another store and much to my surprise, they said yes.

The cashier did say that the decision was up to each store manager, but I thought it was pretty cool.
office depot ink cartridge refund program

Office Depot – $1.99

What do you do with you old ink cartridges? I hope you don’t just toss them in the trash because Office Depot {and a lot of other stores} have recycling programs and some of them will even give you a store credit when you recycle them.

I’ve been taking our empty ink cartridges to the Office Depot for a couple of years now and each time I turn one in I earn a $2 credit with their office rewards program {you can recycle as many as 10 a month}. Then each quarter, they mail you a voucher and you can pretty much spend it on anything in the store. There wasn’t anything I really needed, so I picked up some K-Cups for the HH. We don’t have a food tax so I only had to pay $1.99. Not to shabby for 18 cups of Joe if you ask me.
albertsons shopping trip

Albertsons $5.40

Albertsons had a gift card promotion going on, buy $100 in specific gift cards and get a coupon good for $20 worth of free groceries so I went ahead and picked up for gift cards for Father’s Day that I was planning on purchasing anyway.

The only down side to the $20 gift card coupon is that you cannot use it on liquid dairy products so I did have to pay for the milk. If I could have bought milk I think I would have stocked up and used the whole $20 so I could stock up and freeze milk for this summer.

Philadelphia cream cheese

QFC – $2.00

QFC has a buy 4 save $4 deal going on right now where you can score cream cheese for only $1 a block. Plus there is also a $0.50/1 Philadelphia Cream Cheese printable coupon available too. Use 4 coupons and get 2 pounds of cream cheese for only $2. Weeeee!

omaha steaks

Omaha Steaks – FREE

The HH received a Father’s Day box with Omaha Steaks, bacon and beef jerky from his parents. Saweet! The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird claimed the bacon as soon as the box was opened. :)

Food waste in America pictures

I LOVE free produce!! Seriously, who needs to BUY food when you can grow it, or get it for free? Life is good!

How did you do this past week?

Total Spent This Week $16.11

Total Spent This Year $1,041.68

Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $893.99 {I bought a Meyer Lemon Tree, Rhubarb crowns, 6 Fruit Trees , 16 yards of soil}, Walla Walla Onions and 90 pounds of seed potatoesPlus, supplies to make my own potting soil. I also picked up a boatload of heirloom tomato plants at the Seattle Tilth sale.

Go HERE to read more Shopping Trip Stories.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Foraging for Free Food – Where to Find the Good Stuff

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Foraging for Free Food – Where to Find the Good Stuff

Have you ever wanted to go foraging for food but didn’t know where to start?  Now, there is a map that shows you all of the places around the world that you can score free food.  NPR featured an article recently that told about how two committed foragers created a map of the world that leads you to places with public fruit trees, free veggies–and for the really brave, dumpsters with a steady supply of food.  Fallingfruit.org even allows locals to add to the map as they find free food sources.

At first, I thought this was going to be a dumpster diving sort of deal, but when I clicked on the map, there are tons of fruit trees on public land, blackberry locations, and really fun not-so-common scores, like currants.

And the best part?  It’s totally FREE.  Woohoo!

In the land of plenty, foraging just got a little bit easier.

~Mavis

Backyard Foraging 65 Familiar Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat

Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Food Waste In America – Would You Eat This?

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food waste in america

I just about passed out when I saw all the free produce boxes this week.

For those of you who don’t know already, this all started a little over a year ago when I walked in to our local grocery store and asked one of the produce guys {whom I refer to as Mr. Produce Guy} if I could stop by once a week and pick up some vegetable scraps for my chickens.

Although he was a little hesitant at first, he finally agreed {others had promised to pick up scraps but never showed, or they would come only a handful of times and then stop coming and leave him with rotting produce sitting in the back}.

blueberries in clam shells

Since then, {with the exception of a few times when we were on vacation}, we have picked up the produce as agreed to each week {I’ve always let him know ahead of time if I was not going to be able to pick it up}.

ears of corn

The salvaged produce we bring home is taken off the shelf the same morning we pick it up. The produce is simply the cast offs from the produce department as they re-stock their shelves and pick over their produce for their customers each morning.

raspberry with mold

After all fresh, quality produce sells. Bruised, expired, and moldy berries do not.

food waste in america free food

For those of you wondering why don’t they just pick through the containers and pull out the stuff that’s still edible, the answer is easy. It’s more cost productive for the store to just throw it away.

food waste in america garbage

Some stores compost their produce, some are willing to give it to food banks if they will pick it up, and others simply toss it in a dumpster. Each store if different.

Food waste in America pictures

My store lets me pick up the scraps. And I’m grateful. I cannot imagine how much all of this food would have cost had my family if I would have had to pay for it.

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mondays with Mavis – How to Feed Your Family for $100 a Month

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pine apple carrots bananas

Fred Meyer $11.76

Fred Meyer had pineapples on sale for a buck a piece this past week. How could I pass that one up? I also grabbed a few bananas for Monkey boy and some carrots for snacking and soups.

I am beginning to think our shopping habits are weird. After looking at this weeks photos of the food I purchased four our family, from the outside looking in, we look like a bunch of vegetarian health nuts.

Am I the only one who thinks this? Well, in case you missed it, we do eat other things besides pineapples and carrot sticks. I posted a show and tell of what we’ve been eating lately. While it wasn’t super exciting, it just goes to show that if you are patient and stock up when things go on sale, and make a lot of things from scratch, you can still feed your family really well on a budget.

red peppers

Safeway $5

Red peppers. Safeway had those on sale for $0.50 each. They sale is good through tomorrow so I think I’ll go back and grab a few more and freeze them to use later in the summer in some stir-fry dishes.

target market pantry milk

Target $5.58

I ran in for sharpies and grabbed 2 gallons of milk while I was in there.

food waste in America dumpster diving

There was also quite a bit of free fruits and veggies we got for free from Mr. Produce Guy.

fresh eggs

And of course, lot’s of fresh eggs and produce from our backyard garden.

How did you do with your grocery budget this past week? Did you stock up on pineapples or anything else this week?

Mavis wants to know. :)

Total Spent This Week $22.34

Total Spent This Year $1,025.57

Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $893.99 {I bought a Meyer Lemon Tree, Rhubarb crowns, 6 Fruit Trees , 16 yards of soil}, Walla Walla Onions and 90 pounds of seed potatoesPlus, supplies to make my own potting soil. I also picked up a boatload of heirloom tomato plants at the Seattle Tilth sale.

Go HERE to read more Shopping Trip Stories.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Food Waste In America – Is it Trash or Treasure?

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food waste in America

This past week we found quite a few treats in the fresh produce boxes we picked up from Mr. Produce Guy. Now that summer is right around the corner I have  feeling we’ll be seeing lot’s of watermelon and tropical fruits in the scrap boxes we pick up every week for our backyard chickens.

green pear

Slightly bruised pears don’t bother me one bit.

pineapple smoothie

I simply turn them into smoothies. Pineapple + Pears+ Ice = Perfection.

food waste in America dumpster diving

$20 worth of free produce plus a boatload more for my chickens, heck ya I’ll take it!

sliced fruit

It all looks the same once it’s sliced up and in the refrigerator.

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mondays with Mavis – How to Feed Your Family for $100 a Month

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mondays with mavis butterfield

What a crazy week it’s been with Ryan, Amberlina and Lola in town for the Mother Earth News Fair. I was so busy this past week that grocery shopping kind of took a back seat and freezer meals and crock pot dinners were on the menu quite a bit. I did manage to snap some pictures though of the meals we ate so as soon as I get some extra time, I’ll be posting those so you can see what the heck we ate.

I need to make a run to the store today to stock up on milk and a few other things but here is what I purchased this past week:

costco butter and whipping cream

Costco – $15.78

Have you seen the weather forecast? It’s suppose to be in the 70′s all week up here in the Pacific Northwest so ice cream is clearly on the menu. And butter? I don’t think I could live with out it. ;)

Fred Meyer Shopping trip

Fred Meyer $8.41

I grabbed a few boxes of cereal for the kids and a bunch of Fred Meyer yogurt that was on sale for $0.40 each. Have you tried it yet? The HH really liked it.

food waste in America pictures

Mr. Produce Guy – FREE

Free corn and broccoli, heck ya I’ll take it!

Last week we also enjoyed a boatload of eggs as well as fresh radishes and herbs from our little backyard homestead. Being able to walk out the pack door and pick something is pretty neat-o if you ask me.

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $ 24.91
Total Spent This Year $1,003.23
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $893.99 {I bought a Meyer Lemon Tree, Rhubarb crowns, 6 Fruit Trees , 16 yards of soil}, Walla Walla Onions and 90 pounds of seed potatoesPlus, supplies to make my own potting soil. I also picked up a boatload of heirloom tomato plants at the Seattle Tilth sale.

Go HERE to read more Shopping Trip Stories.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel