Grocery Strategy: how do you keep your kitchen stocked without letting things go bad or wasting food?

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We have the same size family. The best thing we do is try one new recipe every week, keep track of them, and we always keep favorites in rotation. We keep track of the recipes we’ve tried on a Google spreadsheet with links to the actual recipe page. We might make small notes to help with cooking next time. Honestly it helps so much to have this spreadsheet bc we can look through it and pick a few different things to eat that week. And the longer we keep this going, the more options there are to choose from. We buy breakfast food and snacks, and then we buy ingredients for the dinners. The dinner left overs become lunches for the next day. We like to eat the left overs though because it’s always something different.


Make sure you have a good set of CLEAR storage containers for your leftovers, and stack them near the front of the fridge so they don’t get pushed back, covered with other stuff, and forgotten. Give your leftovers & your produce “priority” placement in your fridge. Check for both every time you cook.


I have a couple of “fusion food” recycling dishes. Basically you start off with a solid base like potatoes and onions and maybe an egg in a frying pan, and throw in whatever else you find in the fridge that needs to go. Usually all vegetables fit well, adding one or two different kinds of meat tends to also taste well. Another option which works is making burritos. Somehow adding many different in them makes them better rather than worse. I also embrace my lazyness sometimes, and actively avoid shopping to empty my fridge further. Necessity is the mother of invention, and when you have few things left in the fridge, just google them all together and see what recipe uses the most of them. If you do this before the shops close, you can also plan your store trip around eating the remaining things first.


Personally, I don’t buy anything perishable if I don’t have a specific plan to use it. I plan the week on Friday, get delivery Saturday, and prep Sunday. Leftovers become lunches. Very little waste that way. I’ve got a stable of probably 40 meals at this point that I rotate through and occasionally throw in something new.


I totally understand that this is not a viable option for everyone, especially people like yourself who are feeding your family but I think the easiest solution to these issues is to go shopping more often. When I do a really big, trunk full kind of shopping trip I’m stocking up on things that are non perishable which I use often. Stuff like grains, canned goods, whatever else. Then usually on my way home from work I will stop in for a very quick trip to the store, like sometimes even twice a week, to buy meat and produce. I just look for whatever is looking fresh or on sale. Trying to shop this way also cuts back on the throwing out leftovers situation because you’re not thinking, oh well this fresh chicken is going to go bad I better make it first. I tend to make enough of a dish to have leftovers, then a few days later its the perfect time to eat them because I’m running out of fresh meat and veg to cook anyways.