I love making No Waste Quick & Easy Meals. I absolutely hate wasting food! Anyone else buy loads of food and a week or two later you start tossing it in the trash or organic bin? It’s just so wasteful.
This hurts our wallet, health and our planet.
I vowed to start changing this bad habit. I didn’t want to continue throwing out perfectly good food because I didn’t plan my meals well enough. It was also starting to get too costly which is not ok when you really want to buckle down and save money for a rainy day. Saving money is on my top priority list this year.
I do use an organic compost bin so at least the food waste isn’t going in the trash can. It is however still horribly wrong and wasteful. I can’t justify buying food to just toss into my compost bin. Why is it so hard to use up everything we buy? I work long 12 hours shifts. A stretch of days go by where I can’t cook anything. I batch cook staple foods like rice and potatoes before I start all my shifts because thats super easy. I just add a veggie to it for my work lunches. I typically make frozen veggies on those days. I definitely don’t have the energy or will power to cook much more than that on those days!
Late last year I decided that I had to make a big change. I made the commitment to be more mindful of what I’m buying at the grocery store. No I don’t need every veggie on every single shopping trip! This was a hard thing to change because I really embrace the eat the rainbow lifestyle. Now I limit myself to what I truly need to make a meal or two with.
Making these changes was difficult at first and even now I sometimes find goodies in the fridge that I’ve missed. I just make a meal out of these sad overripe veggies and it always turns out great! I feel like almost always something can be done with them. It might not be the best meal but it will be healthy and taste good. Of course there will always be times where the odd thing is too far gone to use. I just try my best to avoid it as much as possible.
I create meals using only a few ingredients these days that I quickly grab in the fridge. I use up whatever needs to be eaten first and go from there. I love this way of cooking. No waste meals are my absolute favorite now. It forces me to think outside the box and get creative. I’m actually really enjoying cooking this way!
No waste cooking has also made me get back to basics and eat more simply. I’m able to save a lot of time by eating this way. I’m not spending endless hours in the kitchen. Great cooking doesn’t have to be fussy and complicated.
I hope that this inspired you to reduce food waste. Join me this year as I change myself to continue my no waste meals and reduce food waste in our homes!
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Do you think you can pull together real meals with Dollar Store items? I was pretty skeptical myself. I didn’t think they had much to offer. I also worried that I wouldn’t find oil free items there as well.
Where I live in Canada our Dollar Stores don’t have freezer sections sadly. Pre COVID-19 days, we crossed the border to shop I was amazed to find out that the Dollar Stores in the USA have freezer sections. They keep them stocked with some pretty amazing choices too! If your Dollar Store has a freezer then this challenge will be much easier for you. It will provide you much more to work with.
Here in Canada it’s not uncommon to find $3.00 and $4.00 items at the Dollar Store. I’m not sure why we even call it the Dollar Store anymore. It’s actually pretty hard to find $1.00 items these days.
I challenged myself to find $1-$2 items that I could pull a meal off with. I wanted to make sure each meal I made was between three and four servings as well. I wanted these meals to be something a family could enjoy or to have leftovers for lunches. Meal prepping is always such a great time saver! I’m not going to say I had tons of choices but honestly it wasn’t that bad at all. I was surprised at what I was able to find. I had to think outside the box and try creating family meals out of just a few ingredients. It’s definitely possible with a little thought and effort.
Many of us are trying to cut food costs and save some money. Shopping at the Dollar Store can help you save money and still put together some healthy meals. I plan on continuing to tinker in the kitchen and create more yummy inexpensive meals. It’s become a challenge that I’m now quite enjoying. I wonder what else I can come up with?
I don’t consume any added oil in my diet so I also had to make sure that foods were compliant. I originally wanted to make a pasta using traditional tomato sauce but every brand had canola oil in it. I had to pass on that idea and think of something else. I wanted to make a comfort meal using pasta. I decided to make my own healthy sauce. I threw only a few ingredients together and came up with a yummy pea sauce. This idea was actually way better and this sauce has become a staple in our house now!
I’ll add my video where I made this yummy recipe in this post so you can see how I made it. I made a Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in the video below. If you haven’t already Subscribed to my YouTube Channel please consider doing so now. That way you don’t miss any upcoming recipes videos!
I hope this inspired you to visit your local dollar store. Grab some staple ingredients and I bet you can create some great meals too! Let me know what you come up with in the comments. If you recreate my recipes please tag me on IG. I love seeing you guys make my recipes. It brings me so much joy!