So in June I was challenged to step-up to the housework and I think I've done a fairly good job although I am still struggling with keeping the washing under control! Through my cloth nappying journey I was lucky enough to meet Eilleen and have since been an avid reader (and admirer) of her blog. Eilleen and her husband completed the Consumption Rebellion a while ago but I still love her blog. She has really got me thinking about my own household and our own consumption and it's snowball effect. So....the challenge for July will be to reduce wastage in our house - mainly in the kitchen but where we can in the house too. In terms of wastage in the kitchen the fridge is the main culprit in our house. So far this fortnight I've thrown out some ham, 3 lots of leftovers, the dregs in 3 bottles of milk, a whole tub of yoghurt and quite a few dead veges and fruit. My leftovers pale in comparison to my parents but it still makes me feel bad that we are throwing away food that was perfectly good earlier in the week.
To overcome this issue I've got a few strategies....
1 - Buying less. I have been a single parent for more than a year now and yet I still shop as though there are 2 adults and 2 children in my house. I know that I'm only minus one adult but when it's a big-eating, hard working man it does make a fairly big difference. I'm trying to lose some weight too so reducing the amount of food we bring into the house should help with this.
2 - Cooking less. Along the same vein as the above issue I still seem to think that I'm feeding more than I really am. I'm especially bad in this area with rice, pasta and veges that go with dinner. I've got a guide now as to general portion sizes which I know I've been going above and beyond.
3 - Leftovers. Hopefully the above two strategies will reduce the amount of food that is leftover but instead of keeping leftovers in the fridge with the best intentions of eating them for lunch the next day I will start putting them in the freezer straight away where they can be pulled out for FDC lunches for Charlotte.
4 - Less trips to the shops. I am reknown for ducking up to the shops for milk and coming back with at least $50 worth of groceries - maybe only half of which I actually need. This brings me to another issue which I have been pondering - need vs want. Sounds simple? I know it is but I'm good at convincing myself I NEED things when really I only WANT them. Back to the topic at hand... I do a menu plan but am not so good at sticking to it - especially if I get a craving for something in particular. So to reduce our consumption and in turn waste I WILL stick to the menu plan.
I'm not going into this challenge alone.... Oh no..... Thanks to Eilleens blog I've discovered love food - hate waste which has great ideas for leftovers, keeping food fresher for longer and portion sizes. I've also been frequenting destitute gourmet which has some super yummy recipes. tiKKi's mash potato cake which I've previously blogged has also become a frequent favourite and the other night when I had LOADS of mash left over I actually froze the mash in 1/2 cup quantities - just enough for another cake. I'm hoping less food = less waste = more cash as well but we'll see what happens. A friend from uni is taking up a simliar challenge with her family so we'll be able to bounce ideas off each other as well.
And on the kidlet front... Izaak has finished for the term and has gotten a wonderful report card. He is assessed against his ILP (Individual Learning Plan) and although academic achievements haven't been as much as I'd hoped, socially he has made leaps and bounds so I'm over the moon!