Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Food Prep and Storage

Addie is a fruit eater.  Brian and I enjoy fruits, too.  But if you are like what we were, it is not easy to always finish fruit fast enough before it goes bad. 

Enter our new system of shopping and food preparation, and we have begun implimenting it now so when Baby arrives, this system is already in place and is not another new thing for us to experience.

Typically, after church on Sunday (since football season is nowhere in sight right now), we stop at one of my favorite grocery stores. By Thursday or Friday of the previous week, I have already looked through the lists of my three favorites, chosen which store has the best deals for us that week (not the best deals in general, but the best deals for us), made up my list, matched up my coupons, and I am ready to go.  

Because we do this after church, Addie and Brian go to a little store near the grocery store and pick up her "surprise" if she has been a good girl during the church service (at the rate she is going, she is going to leave us broke), and he is able to entertain Addie while I focus only on my list and price checking. 

In the produce departments (which tend to be the most expensive purchases for us), I only by the fruits and vegetables that are on sale (why pay more for when it isn't necessary?) and use those in our meals throughout the week. I also plan my meals based on the sales and coupon deals I have.

For dinner after church, we pick up a $5 pizza from Little Caesar's so there isn't any extra work in the kitchen before I get to work- because believe me, it is a bit of a process. Before we eat, groceries are put away excpet for anything that needs to be worked on in some way.  Once we have eaten, Brian is on child duty until I am done- he is such an awesome team player and partner.
I gather my "tools" just before I begin. Large sized food storage containers, the strainer, knife, food processor, cutting board are brought to the sink and adjacent counter.

The fruits are rinsed, cut, and placed in their own containers. Strawberries have the little green leaves and stems cut off (after all, only dinosaurs eat leaves say my little dino expert.). Cantelopes are cut off the rind and into cubes. Grapes are rinsed and pulled off of their stems. 

Vegetables are chopped and either refrigerated or frozen. I toss most of my onions into the food processor and chop them (some recipes call for larger sized onions so don't chop them all). Lettuce is cored (by Brian), and then I cut the leaves into bit sized pieces. I do not rinse my lettuce because you would need to dry them off before refrigerating them (salad spinners would work well for this).   

We have thrown away almost nothing since beginning this method.  Honestly, the greatest deterent to eating something is not having it readily available for consumption and when you have foods that will go bad if they are not eaten, it is even more important to make them accessible.


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