Frugal Friday ~1917

Classic Tips for Saving Food.

Happy Friday, all! Made it through another week. I was in the car the other day with The Boy and we heard a public service message about food waste. Did you know:

Consumers are responsible for more wasted food than farmers, grocery stores, restaurants, or any other part of the food supply chain, so changing household behavior is key to reducing the problem of food waste. 21 percent of the food each person buys goes to waste, with the average American family of four spending $1,800 per year on food that they don’t eat and each individual tosses about 20 pounds of food per month, adding up to 238 pounds of wasted food a year.

The Ad Council put together this video on the life and times of a strawberry, a product that’s near and dear to my local heart.

Now, our family is as guilty as the next. Leftovers typically get eaten for work lunches, but I just had a melon go bad on the counter that I was hoping to save for the weekend. Drat! And there always seems to be a bit of something suspicious in a state of active decay in the odd jar or baggie lurking in the dark corners of the fridge…

What’s the old expression? The more things change, the more they stay the same? The U.S. Food Administration was promoting frugal food tips back during WWI due to rationing. Obviously, still relevant today if for different reasons.

  1. Buy it with thought
  2. Cook it with care
  3. Use less wheat and meat
  4. Buy local foods
  5. Serve just enough
  6. Use what is left

Ten strategies I use to help our family eat what we buy – 

  1. Wash and freeze raw veggies that are about to go bad in the ‘stock’ bag.
  2. Feed the rabbit leftover herbs if we haven’t used them within 2-3 days. Let’s be real, who is going to be chopping up fresh parsley for the hastily made spaghetti before guitar lessons on Monday nights? Not this mom.
  3. Chop and freeze bananas for smoothies if they aren’t getting eaten.
  4. Make salads before using the frozen vegetables. This is a hard one because it is so easy to be lazy with packaged frozen veg.
  5. Check expiration dates on meat. I need to be careful because I always buy meats that are on sale, which means they’re coming up on expiration dates and they are priced to move. Roast/freeze anything that’s about to expire. Throw some herbs/BBQ sauce on the meat, roast it in the oven after dinner and then store by bedtime. Done! Made two chickens on Monday night after guitar.
  6. Save bread heels for bread puddings and breadcrumbs.
  7. Set aside a few pieces of meat from family packs for soups.
  8. If there is one serving left, throw it in a lunch container and put it in the freezer for a work lunch.
  9. Limit the number of small storage containers. When you realize you don’t have any left, it’s time to eat whatever is in the freezer.
  10. Don’t buy it! This is something I struggle with… Yes, it would be great to experiment with that one recipe that calls for 1 Tbsp. fresh fennel and 2 tsp. of special Asian fish sauce. How much are you actually going to use? Will the family like it? Will you be able to use whatever is left before it goes bad? We pause for a moment of reflection… That was all that I could think of when reading a cookbook by Rachel Ray the other day. The ingredients were not mainstream and so one-off as to be impractical for everyday family cooking.

For all of my food lovers out there, what are your self-imposed strategies to limit food waste at home?

Source: U.S. Food Administration.

More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks

9 thoughts on “Frugal Friday ~1917

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  1. As far and number 10 goes, don’t. My crew does not care for *extra* stuff and usually want basics. If I jazz it up a little, they lose their minds.

    First, I chop all veggies I take home fresh and freeze. Oh sure it takes more time, but second, I LOVE grabbing the raw salad mix and fresh fruits I chop separately in bowls that chill in the fridge. ( I am just spoiled that way and in love with my German knife!!! ) 😉

    The buns have a separate bag so it can be a grab and go, or chop as I go.

    Most of not all our meat comes from a locally owned family dairy merchant. Please allow me to encourage anyone to do a search in your area.


    PS. Like the new look here (looks around at the pink background)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Great idea to chop and store as soon as you get home! I did a little experiment last week and put chopped carrot sticks in a container – lo and behold, they were gone in a few hours. Whole carrots would never have gotten eaten. You are wise.

      I did a search for local farm-raised meat. They only sold half a cow. Ugh, that’s a lot of meat. If there were a family you could split it with, then maybe. Still searching.

      Working on the blog! Trying to get the look exactly the way I want it, little by little. Stay tuned.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WONDERFUL!

        As per half cow, we went in with another family as well and had so much beef! We ate good until I just need a break from beef. 😉

        Ask if feelers can be put out there to half with another family. They might know someone as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You made me laugh with your comment about Ray’s cookbook. It was just yesterday I had said to a friend that I never seen a cookbook of hers that I would buy at the thrift store because her recipes don’t match my pantry. We were waiting in line at the food bank. You do learn to not waste and to cook simply when you don’t have the money to spend for food. Food day you spend the day in the kitchen prepping food and freezing what you can. You have too because most of it is at the end of it’s shelf life so you can eat the whole week. I wish the media would produce a cooking show that show basic cooking. You not believe how many people don’t know how to prepare foods and to cook them. I get a lot of questions on food day because they know I have a food blog.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rachel Ray! Ha! 🙂 I’m glad I got the book at the library, it needs to go back. What you write is so true, figuring out how to cook, prepare, and save your food is key to not wasting food. I think that’s what Julia Childs’ goal was when she did her cooking shows, how to do basic cookery. I do need to get The Boy into the kitchen so he’s not eating pizza the rest of his adult life.

      So much of it is trial and error, or reading cookbooks and watching cooking shows and figuring it out.

      Good on you for sharing with others who need it!!!!


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