I know mine is! Sleeves of herbs turning to slime at the bottom of the crisper, half used jars of sauces growing mould, condiments lurking at the back of the fridge, ice crystals taking over my selection of left-overs in the freezer and potatoes growing more potatoes in the pantry! It amounts to food waste and lots of it.
The numbers are frightening. On average, Australian’s throw out 1 in 5 grocery bags amounting to approximately $1000 per household per year. Part of the cause of this problem is that we are not planning ahead. We forget to check the fridge, freezer and pantry before going shopping and we tend to cook too much food.
If we put these numbers in perspective, cleaning up our act in the kitchen could save us the cost of 364 coffees per year or a new spring wardrobe!
So start your kitchen spring clean by planning meals using foods already in the house that you don’t use regularly, like tins of tomatoes and bags of rice or pasta. You might just need to add a couple of fresh ingredients, like vegetables and lean meat, to these to make a delicious and healthy meal.
Secondly, write a list and stick to it. Choose ingredients that you can use in more than one meal such as baby spinach leaves; maybe you have them with eggs for breakfast, in a salad at lunch and throw a few into a bolognaise at dinner time.
Lastly, stock your kitchen with a few key items that will allow you to create a balanced meal, even when you don’t have time to shop such as frozen vegetables, tinned legumes such as chickpeas and lentils, and wholegrain rice or pasta. Keeping some rolled oats, tinned fruit and nuts in the pantry can also ensure that you have a nutritious breakfast or snack when the cupboards are otherwise bare.