The Weekly Waste Word: Doubling Up

At the beginning of each week, I give tips on how to avoid wasting food. Today we’ll talk about one trick I’ve picked up along the way–planning two meals that use the same ingredient. 

This site has a nice description of the “doubling up” shopping strategy: 

When you’re buying your vegetables, plan your meals around them to avoid wasting food. Say you buy a bag of carrots then try to include carrots in several dinners or use them for snacks to avoid ending up with a fridge full of expired produce at the end of the week.

jambalayaI find this idea works best when you just need a little bit of an item, but it’s only sold in larger amounts. Let’s say you’re cooking up a batch of jambalaya to celebrate the Red Sox World Series sweep. The recipe calls for two sausage links, but you still have to buy an entire package. In that case, it’s time to find another recipe that calls for sausages.

While “doubling up” functions best if you’re planning your meals ahead of time, it still works if you’re cooking on the fly. You would just find a meal after the fact that incorporates the leftover ingredient(s). Bonus points if you can “double up” with more than one ingredient!

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  1. Posted October 29, 2007 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    cool site! good luck with the book!

  2. Naomi
    Posted May 23, 2008 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    I doubled up this week! Made chicken sauteed with onions and garlic, used half for stir-fry with a bunch of fresh veggies at the beginning of the week, used the second half in enchiladas towards the end of the week. I usually do veggie-heavy dishes at the beginning of the week so we can eat everything at its freshest, and then have more lasting veggies like canned tomatoes, beans, and root vegetables as we run low on produce. Usually I choose a grain for the week and make a big pot, to last through a few meals (this week was rice, to go with the stir-fry AND enchiladas). So I guess I quadrupled up!

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