I don't like waste, especially when it comes to food. It's bad enough we spend a fortune on it, and get so little in return. We're a family of five and tonight I tossed away a big package of boneless chicken thighs. It had been pushed way back in the fridge, then buried behind the countless left over dishes from Thanksgiving.
I guess it all started with my parents. They didn't believe in eating left overs, except for spaghetti. Over the years I wondered why they even saved the left overs, when they always ended up in the trash. I guess their thought process was someone would eat it later, or they would. But there was never enough for a whole meal. And I never questioned it.
While I was married I didn't do that. I can recall my grocery budget in the seventies was $30 a week. And everything was eaten. The fridge was empty by the end of the week. Even after my daughter was born it remained $30 for a long time until I told my husband I simply couldn't do it anymore. So we moved up to $45.00 a week.
After Earl passed in May I moved in with my daughter and her family full time. When I realized we were doing the same thing my parents had done I gradually began sneaking in left overs, or turning them into other dishes. After a while I said, let's have one left over night a week so we can stop being wasteful. And save some money.
Tonight was left over night. I emptied out the fridge and warmed everything up. We finished a bag of salad mix, mashed potatoes, and short ribs. Never made it to the chili I made last night but that's okay. Ever had chili over spaghetti? It's pretty good.
I've noticed we don't waste as much food as we used to. Tossing out that chicken tonight reminded me how much we used to waste, and made me all the more determined to eat up all the left overs we could tonight.