Thursday, March 31, 2011

Waste Not Wednesday: Labeling Food in the Fridge

Even with our limited food budget I still fight wasting food. I've tried a few methods I've read about. Some have worked .. for instance, wrapping celery in tinfoil so it will last longer. It really does.

But, I still end up throwing away food that gets lost in the fridge. Not too smart when you realize it's no different than taking my dollar bills and actually throwing them into the garbage.

I've looked over different suggestions to help in the fight against wasting food but haven't been able to find one that 'fits'. The more I thought about it I decided to try mother's method of labeling food to see how it would work. 

I've started keeping a roll of masking tape and a permanent marker in my tinfoil drawer.  Since I don't have many containers that are see-through I've found that marking a saucer on a bowl or a reused cottage cheese container with the food item name and the date helps give me a visual of what is in the bowl and how long it will be edible.How many times do you 'think' you know when you cooked an item but you're not really sure?

In the picture to the left I marked the jar with homemade mayonnaise. The date is important even if I THINK I'll remember..  because most the time I won't.

Labeling works great for the freezer, too. So many times in the past I've put an unmarked item into the freezer and by the time I've pulled it out I don't recognize what it is. A name and date on the frozen product has eliminated the question and loss of food.

The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. Psalm 145:15

Do you have a method that helps you not waste food?


  1. When our two boys were still at home I didn't have to worry about wasting food..they ate it. Now there are only 3 of us, I'm learning all over again how to cook meals. Seldom do we have waste...If I make too much, we eat it the very next day. Your method of marking food items is a great one. Hugs

  2. This really is a great system. I blogged about this about a year ago - I, too, keep the marker and tape in my drawer with my food wraps. I have found that freezer tape is my tape of choice as it never leaves a residue on leftover containers or canning jars and yet it won't peel off until I'm ready to remove it. I really enjoy your blog. I'm going to have to try wrapping my celery in aluminum foil.

  3. Thanks for the celery tip!
    I freeze even small amounts of meat or broth and add them to the next pot of soup.

  4. I'm trying to see how long I can go without going to the groc. st. and so I'm more apt to use everything in the frig and root around to see what I have and the same for the freezer. I tried for a while saving all veg. scraps in the freeze for broth. I also freeze things like tomato sauce left over when I only needed part of a can. Linda

  5. Thanks for the grate tips about celery, I will absolutely try that one!

    We usually gets around to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. Since we are out all day we need to get some real nutrition at lunchtime. If there are more leftovers we use it in a weekly leftover dinner.

    Love your blog by the way!

  6. We do "leftover roundup" mid week, meaning everyone can fend for themselves for dinner, root around in the fridge and eat up all the bits and pieces left over from the last few days. Generally this cleans the fridge out fairly well and minimizes waste.

  7. We love to snack on celery. I've never heard or thought about wrapping it in foil.....thanks for this great trip.

    I sure don't like wasting anything, much less food, when I think of people going hungry.

    I don't have any special tips. Thanks so much for your tips!
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  8. I keep a large ziploc bag in my freezer and add all kinds of little bits of leftovers - veggies, meats, gravies, etc. You know, those bits just too small to save! Once the bag gets full enough, I combine it with some beef or chicken broth and make a big ol' pot of whatchamacallit soup. It always comes out great and I may get another three or four meals out of what most folks would throw away.

  9. I use masking tape too. It works great.
    If I use foil, I have just labeled on top the foil for freezer meals.


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