Talking today with another “Kristen!” She is the brains behind the blog The Frugal Girl, which is about cheerfully living on less. Among exploring the many household ways to stay within your budget, she also shares how she uses up her fridge leftovers. This really forces you to be creative in the kitchen, while saving your money and resources at the same time.
KN: Minimizing rotten fridge food is something my husband and I are still working to master, but we also want to be sure we’re eating fresh & healthy foods. Can you suggest any fruits or veggies that have a longer shelf life?
FG: I think buying a combination of short and long-life produce is a great way to combat waste. What’s important is to eat the most perishable produce shortly after shopping and save the more shelf-stable fruits and veggies for later in the week. For instance, berries, spinach, and fresh herbs are good to use right away, whereas things like cabbage, carrots, apples, pears, cucumbers, and peppers can wait until later.
KN: What is the most creative thing you’d come up with out of your leftovers?
FG: Hmm, that’s a tough one! I was particularly pleased with the asparagus/pink sauce combination I came up with recently, using some leftover shrimp, pink sauce, and grilled asparagus.
I most frequently use up odds and ends in the fridge by making scrambled eggs or salads, though, because you can throw almost anything into those two dishes. Baking is also a favorite way to use up produce and slightly-off dairy (muffins are great for that!)
KN: What advice would you give to people to help reduce kitchen waste at the source: The Shopping Cart?
FG: Making a meal plan that includes a plan for produce use helps me a lot. It’s easy to get all inspired at the store and overbuy produce, but if you’ve got a plan, you can buy exactly what you’ll use.