Eat me!

I’m not linking to this post out of vanity (honest!) and what follows is not vulgar (get your mind out of the gutter!).

In addition to finding The Compact (of not buying anything new except food for a year) admirable, I really enjoyed Angela Barton’s idea of having a section near the front of your fridge for expiring goods. It’s kind of like having a sale rack in your own refrigerator. Plus, Barton’s area has that fun name. photo courtesy of Angela Barton

The practice of moving all the soon-to-be expired food up to the front of the fridge is reminiscent of the way grocery stores stock their shelves. The new stuff is put in the back so the older goods are actually sold. Why prompt waste in your home by putting recent purchases at the front of the fridge?

While I don’t have a designated spot in my fridge for elderly food, I try to have a rough idea in my head of what’s going bad first. This usually helps me answer that nagging question ‘What’s for dinner?’

Anyway, what’s on your sale rack? And do you have any tips or strategies for keeping that category to a minimum?

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5 Comments

  1. Michele Houdashell
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Yes, absolutely this is a terrific idea. I plan all of my meals based on what is going off first. Especially since I buy organic meats and dairy on the quick sale rack at the health food store, I don’t have time to waste. Personally, the compassion I feel for the world’s hungry keeps me from wasting in my home, and when I do have to throw things out I feel like I have behaved unjustly.

  2. Emily
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    I find that we waste a lot less food if we can see all the way to the back of the fridge. Glass shelves help too!

  3. William
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I find three things contribute to last of food waste:

    1. Not having much in the fridge to start with: less to go bad and less that needs managing.

    2. Keeping an eye, or even a hand, on what’s in the fridge: review what’s in there every couple of days, touching every item if necessary to remind yourself.

    3. Knowing what to do with something that needs to be used, if simply eating it isn’t an option. My standbys are omlets, risotto, stir-fry, and smoothies for fruit.

  4. Matt
    Posted April 20, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I heard a radio piece last week that promoted taking products from the back of grocery store shelves rather than the sooner-to-expire products from the front as a “cost-saving tip.” I’m guessing this tip, like the Fifth Third Burger, would get a Boooooo! from you.

  5. Posted April 20, 2009 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Interesting question, Matt. I actually just saw a link about this and will blog on it Tuesday (4/21).
    The short answer: In theory, yes. But I also don’t enjoy wasting money. Sometimes knowing these little tidbits (like the freshest food being at the back) aren’t helpful because they present a mini moral dilemma. Anyway, if it’s something like milk or bread, where I might not get to it while it’s in optimum condition, I tend to find the freshest items possible. With everything else, I just grab the first one.

One Trackback

  1. By The Frugal Girl » Food Waste Friday! on April 17, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    [...] I want to give a little shout out to Angela, who blogs at My Year Without Spending. She’s been working on reducing her waste, and her “Eat Me!” shelf idea earned her a mention on Jonathan Bloom’s Wasted Food blog.(Angela, as soon as I saw the “Eat Me!” title on the feed from the Wasted Food blog, I knew he had to be writing about you!). Go check her out. [...]

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