Food Waste In America – Free Fruit, Yes Please!

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food waste

This past week was a great one in the free food department.

I know I’ve said it a hundred million times, but isn’t it amazing how much food gets thrown out by grocery stores each week? The picture you see above is just what one store tossed in about 3 hours. Imagine what a weeks worth of discarded produce would look like.

chicken scraps

Our flock of backyard chickens were over the moon after I tossed an entire box of bok choy and cabbage leaves into the chicken run for them to munch on.
granny smith green apple slices

Our favorite thing this week was two bowls of granny smith apple slices. According to the date on the sticker, the apples were “expired” so the store could not sell them.

Umm, I’m not rocket scientist but they looked and tasted fine to me. :)

food waste

This weeks free food tally:

  • 3 heads of Lettuce
  • 1 bag of Romaine Hearts
  • 1 tub Watermelon Chunks {The Girl ate the whole tub}
  • 2 tubs of Granny Smith apples
  • 6 Stuffed Mushrooms
  • 15 Spotted Bananas
  • 4 Apples, 1 Pomegranate and 1 Grapefruit.

Life is good! :)

~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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trader joes shopping trip

Trader Joes $12.73

I was near a Trader Joe’s Market on Saturday and had some extra time on my hands so I popped in to see if I could find anything interesting. I like Trader Joes, I really do, and the deals are pretty good too. If I lived closer to one I’d probably shop there more often because they kind of have some funky products.

I was able to pick up a stalk of Brussels Sprouts for $2.99, a butternut squash for $1.79, baby cucumbers $1.99, limes $0.29 each and some yummy rice and soy sauce crackers for $2.69 each {a splurge, but they are delicious!}.

costco coupon shopping trip

Costco $29.27

And then I went to Costco.

After spending all day at one of my kids sporting events and knowing the power was out at home, I caved in and did the easy thing. I picked up 3 cases of soup on the way home. ;)

We have an electric stove and a propane stove top so I knew couldn’t bake anything, and since the power had been out all day and I didn’t know when it would come on again, I wasn’t about to open the fridge or freezer and root around for something to eat.  I wanted to keep all our refrigerated/frozen items cold in case the power would be out for a day or two so I just picked up dinner on the way home instead.

Hopefully this week I’ll do a little better budget wise. :)

How about you, did you splurge on anything this past week?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $40.00
Total Spent This Year $1,870.06    It’s official, I’m over for the year!

Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $919.96{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.

Food Waste In America – Why Don’t People Buy Spotted Bananas?

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food waste in America

It’s a good thing our backyard pet chickens will eat just about anything, because this week there was a total hodge podge of discarded fruits and vegetables from Mr. Produce Guy.

Where else in the world are you going to find totally edible papaya, avocados, grapes,  lettuce, heirloom tomatoes and apples tossed to the curb {so to speak} at the end of October?

The typical grocery store in America, that’s where.

earthbound farms organic lettuce kale half and half

The Girl and I picked through this entire container of Earthbound Farms Organic lettuce mix and couldn’t find 1 single leaf that was not acceptable to eat. So why was it thrown out? The expiration date of course. Now we all know that expiration dates are only a guideline, but when it comes to grocery stores, the clock is always ticking, and they cannot {or won’t} sell food beyond the sell by date.

When I was a kid, they didn’t even have sell by dates. You actually had to look at the food to see if it was still good. Now days we trust the stamp on the package. Hmmm.

spotted bananas

Regular vs Organic Bananas? Apparently monkeys from neither group will buy spotted bananas. Which is sad, because real monkeys know the fruit is better when it has spots.
small apples

I’m guessing these apples were to small and therefore nobody wanted to buy them. So they got trashed. How sad is that?

lucy the puggle dog

Even inspector Lucy the Puggle Dog knows good food when she sees it.

food waste in America

Here’s what I ended up keep from this weeks free produce boxes. Everything else was either composted or fed to the chickens. Is this crazy or what?

Peace Out Girl Scouts, I’m off to go make some homemade applesauce.

~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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darigold milk

Local Produce Market $8.00

This week was kind of a snooze fest as far as groceries go. Our local produce market had milk on sale for $2.50 a gallon, sweet peppers 3 for $1 {they were kind of small} and kiwi fruit for $0.50 each.

costco butter

Costco $7.69

Butter. Why does it seem like I’m always buying butter? Sheesh, you’d think I was related to Paula Dean or something with the amount of butter I buy. Anywho, let’s talk about Costco ribbon. Isn’t it AWESOME? Seriously, you can get 50 yards of ribbon for less than $7. It’s one of my favorite deals there. {I don’t eat ribbon so I did not include it in m grocery total}. ;)

albertsons everyday essential

Albertsons $7.28

Albertsons. I think I’ve bought 3 giant tubs of cottage cheese in the last month all with the intention of making some lasagna freezer meals. But every time I went to make the lasagna, the cottage cheese was gone. It took me a few times to realize the HH was eating it all.

Apparently I need to buy cottage cheese a little more often. Ha!

How about you? Did you get any killer deals at the grocery store this past week? I noticed Fred Meyer has satsumas on sale so I know I’ll be stopping there to pick up a bag or too.

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $22.97
Total Spent This Year $1,830.06    It’s official, I’m over for the year!

Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $919.96{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.

Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste

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This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. For more information, see my disclosure policy.

#SaveItSunday

I recently teamed up with Glad Food Protection to take the #SaveItSunday pledge to not only help eliminate food waste in my own kitchen, but to show you some cool and creative ways you can reduce food waste in yours.

What is the #SaveItSunday pledge?

Well basically it’s about loving food more and wasting it less, one day at a time.

#SaveItSunday

And guess who else took the pledge? Alex Guarnaschelli. How cool is that?

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know how I feel about food waste.  I. Can’t. Stand. It.  In days of refrigeration, freezers, dehydrators, canning, etc. it seems senseless to have food waste {not to mention, having already used up natural resources to ship food to the grocery stores in the first place}.

Even though most Americans think they are taking steps to preserve their food, we are typically throwing away totally edible food on a regular basis.

#SaveItSunday

Among the food Americans toss, fruits and vegetables are trashed most frequently {38%}, followed by dairy products 29%, and bread 29%.  That tells me that, one, we have plenty of food to feed everybody on this planet, and two, maybe if we got a little smarter about our food waste, we wouldn’t need to rely on factory farmed food so heavily {meaning we could withstand slower/smaller production methods}?

With the right preparation and protection on shopping day, the food we love could stay fresher, longer. I know that sometimes, life happens, and there is just nothing you can do to avoid food waste.  But, there are tons of simple ways to ensure that most of your food ends up on your plate, instead of landfills.

#SaveItSunday

Here are a couple of my favorite ways to reduce food waste:

  1. Meal plan.  Creating a meal plan means you’ll only buy what you need, instead of haphazardly throwing food into the cart with no real plan.
  2. Track your waste.  Write down everything you throw away.  If you have to throw out milk because you couldn’t drink it before it went bad, you are probably buying too much milk.  Buy a smaller carton.  It may look like you are spending more ounce for ounce, but if you calculated the money you have to pour down the drain, the numbers will look different.
  3. Organize your pantry like a grocery store.  Make sure to put newer items in back, so you can use up the older items first.  It helps make sure that you don’t have to throw an item away due to expiration because you grabbed a newer version of the same thing.
  4. Freeze leftovers/surplus.  I am a HUGE fan of GLAD freezer bags and GladWare.  I can toss in surplus fruits and veggies from Mr. Produce Guy or leftovers and freeze them for another day.  It really doesn’t get much easier. compost bin
  5. When you can’t eat it, compost it.  Food carries valuable nutrients, even when it truly is past the point of human consumption.  At the very least, throw it in the composter and “feed” your soil.
  6. Think about usage.  Just because fruit is mushy or veggies are getting soft, doesn’t mean they are inedible.  Use them a different way.  Get out the blender and make smoothies {smoothies freeze well for later too} or make soup with the veggies.
  7. Expiration dates are merely suggestions.  Use common sense–and all of your 5 senses.  If it smells, looks, tastes off, then of course, it’s probably no good.  Beyond that, be flexible.
  8. Use smaller plates.  This isn’t just for weight loss.  Less food on the plate means that you will be less likely to have uneaten waste.  You can always get more, but even I don’t scrape people uneaten food on their plates into GLAD bags. :)
  9. Grocery lists.  Even if you don’t meal plan down to every last detail, make a grocery list and stick to it.  Impulse buys can lead to more food than you can reasonably consume before some of it goes bad.organic vegetables
  10. Prioritize.  Eat what goes bad the fastest first {say that 10 times fast}.  For example, if salads are on the menu, plan to have them fairly soon after you grocery shop.  That way, it won’t have a chance to spoil before you get around to eating it.
  11. Don’t over prepare food.  Yes, leftovers are awesome, but at a certain point, you can only eat so much leftover potato salad before you are DONE eating potato salad.  Make enough to feed the crowd and be reasonable about how much you will eat in leftover form.
  12. Split it.  Can’t eat a whole watermelon before it goes bad?  Ask a neighbor if they want to split it.  The same goes for milk or a loaf of bread.  You can also apply the same principle when eating out–splitting a meal saves on food waste and cost.  It’s win-win.#SaveItSunday
  13. Donate food to your food bank.  Maybe you were starving when you bought a can of chicken with stars soup 3 months ago, and now you can’t imagine eating it.  Don’t let it expire, be realistic and donate it so someone can eat it.
  14. Before you go to the grocery store, take stock.  If you have items that are about to expire, you can plan your menu around those items.
  15. Store smarter.  Crackers, cookies, cereal, etc. tend to go stale rapidly in their original containers.  Invest in some simple airtight containers and keep the food fresher waaaay longer.

I know you all have more tips on food waste, and I would LOVE to know them so make sure to leave them in the comments below!

Mavis

#SaveItSundayFor more information about the #SaveItSunday Pledge and how you can enter to win a gourmet chef prepared meal in your home, head on over to SaveItSunday.com

Looking for more Glad Protection Pointers? Head on over HERE where you’ll learn lot’s of cool tips and tricks to keep the food you love fresher, longer.

You can also follow Glad on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.

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.

How Much Do Groceries Cost in New York City?

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cauliflower

Holy crackers people. Hole. Lee. Crackers.

Do you know anyone who would pay $4.99 for a head of cauliflower? I sure don’t. I mean c’mon, how are people suppose to eat their veggies when they are so expensive?

cilantro

Cilantro $2.49 a bunch!! A packet of seeds costs about half that. cherriosHow about $5.49 for a 14 ounce box of Cheerios? Any takers?

milk

Do you think $4.29 for a gallon of milk is high? I start to cringe when I have to pay $2.99 a gallon for regular milk. Wowza!

chicken breasts

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $2.99 is about average for a grocery store. I get mine for less through Zaycon, but I think $2.99 is about normal for a grocery store this time of year.
activia

And last but not least, $3.99 for a 4-pack of Activia. Hmmm, I’m thinking Jamie Lee Curtis is the only one who can afford to buy it.

What do you think? Are prices sky high in NYC or am I crazy? What are the prices on these common items in your hometown?

Mavis wants to know.

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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costco shopping trip

Costco $10.82 {after rebate}

I can explain. ;)

My Costco Executive Membership Rebate came in the mail last week so I went crazy! :)

My parents give us a Costco membership every year for Christmas. Which I love, because honestly, I don’t know that I would shell out $110 a year for it on my own. But, when you take into account that the card costs $110 and I got back a rebate check for $104.66 this year, it seems to all work out. Paying $5.44 for a Costco membership makes sense.

Unless of course you are one of those people who cannot walk out of Costco without spending $200 per shopping trip. Then, I don’t think it’s worth it. Why? Because it seems like everything in there is an impulse purchase. Doesn’t it? I mean really, how many times have you gone in there for apples and bananas and have left with a cartload of stuff?

A million trillion times, that’s how many!

costco rewards rebate

So you are probably wondering what they heck I bought at Costco in the past year to have earned this rebate check. Well, a lot actually. For starters, the HH buys all his lawn fertilizer there. He also buys stuff for his work, I buy garden stuff, books {see I get sucked in too!} clothing, socks and underwear, and sometimes furniture. I am also lucky enough to have a Costco Business center nearby too so I purchase oddball stuff there too like folding tables and chairs.

But when it all gets tallied up at the end, most of the things are impulse purchases.

Could I live without a Costco membership? Yes, but I think the HH and Monkey Boy would miss the hotdog and a soda for $1.50.

How about YOU, do you have a Costco membership? Do you think you would spend less on impulse purchases without one?

Mavis wants to know.

Total Spent This Week $10.82
Total Spent This Year $1,807.09 It’s official, I’m over for the year!

Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $919.96{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.

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

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costco shopping trip

Costco $27.82

Costco has 10 pound sacks of organic sweet potatoes on sale for $6.99. Holy smokes that is a good deal. Non Organic sweet potatoes are running about $1.69 a pound at the store right now so I totally bought a bag. Plus Lucy the puggle dog has been eating about a half of a  sweet potato a day lately. She loves them.

As for the dried fruit, we were out and yep, I picked up some yummy chips and some evil Costco milk cartons as well. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand the shape of those things!

qfc coupon deals

QFC $20.10

QFC is having a stock up and save sale with certain items on sale for only $0.67 each when you buy them in sets of 15. I thought $0.67 for tuna was a pretty good deal as well as canned diced tomatoes with green chilies.

I know you’re probably thinking, Mavis, why on earth are you buy canned tomatoes when you grew over 200 pounds of tomatoes this year? And the answer is simple. Convenience. I actually didn’t can any tomatoes this year {well, other than salsa}. I froze them all. So I stocked up for those times when I’m in a hurry and don’t have the time to thaw some out in the refrigerator {or I forget}. I’m human after all. :)

how to save on produce

Mr. Produce Guy – FREE

Last week we scored organic strawberries, apples, lettuce and cantaloupe from Mr. Produce guy. Life is good when you are eating trash. ;)

How did you do this week? Did you get sucked into Costco too?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $48.92
Total Spent This Year $1,796.27 It’s official, I’m over for the year!

Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $919.96{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.

Food Waste In America – What to Do with Iceberg Lettuce

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food waste America

This week there was a little bit of everything in our free produce scrap boxes.

Mr. Produce Guy knows our chickens LOVE lettuce and so we typically end up with at least one full box of leafy greens. There were also organic apples, organic strawberries and even some cut cantaloupe melon this time around.

lettuce tomatoes food waste

Now we like lettuce, but what does one do with an entire case of it?

I mean, it’s not like you can freeze it or anything.

silver laced wyandotte

Luckily our pet chickens LOVE lettuce. I thought about dropping some of the extra lettuce off at the food bank, but the deal I made with Mr. Produce Guy way back when, was that the produce was for my birds. Not human consumption. So even though I salvage a few things here and there from the free produce boxes for my family, I don’t want to get anyone in trouble by donating the extra edibles. Which is kind of silly really.

But a deal is a deal.

can I feed my chicken scraps

Any anyway, what the chickens don’t eat is composted into new soil for next years garden, so it’s not like the food is going completely to waste. I just wish ALL grocery stores had some sort of donation program in place where all their unsaleable merchandise could somehow be donated to an organization in need.

bantam chicken brown

I’m sure Squirrely, our bantam chicken wouldn’t mind sharing.

how to save on produce

This week I was able to reclaim 4 pound sor strawberries, 2 heads of lettuce, a bowl of cantaloupe, and about 10 pounds of apples. Not a bad day at the office if you ask me.

What do you think?

~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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albertsons couponsAlbertsons – $6.98

Well, this week started off really good. Buying things like milk, yogurt and fruit never tends to break the bank.

albertsons shopping tripAlbertsons $16.15

But then we needed more milk, The Girl wanted orange juice, I needed coconut and the HH wanted cottage cheese.

costco coupons

Costco $58.63
And then there was Costco.

Have you ever gone grocery shopping with a teenage boy before? Holy cow man, I don’t know if I was just super hungry too or if my mind was elsewhere, but Monkey Boy and I ended up spending a boatload at Costco, and we didn’t even stop for free samples.

And hello, tuna is expensive!!

food waste in America

Mr. Produce Guy – FREE

Thanks to Mr. Produce Guy, at least the lunch snacks were free. ;)

How much did YOU spend on groceries last week? Did you make a trip to Costco? Have you tried their pumpkin pies? Man they are good! ;)

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $81.76
Total Spent This Year $1,747.35 It’s official, I’m over for the year!

Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $919.96{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.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel