Apr 2, 2015

A simple tip to put your veggies to good use

Given a choice, I would shop for fresh veggies once every 2-3 days. But the time and effort required for this activity prevents me from taking that route. Instead, I shop for veggies and fruits once a week (like most urban families do). There were times when I would just buy from supermarkets and dump the veggies wrapped in their individual plastic covers directly in the fridge. As the week progresses, I had no clue of what veggies were remaining. I just grabbed what piqued my attention first and used it for my cooking. Towards the end of the week, I would notice an almost rotten pumpkin slice, wilted greens and a few leftover beans giving me a sad look. I realized that wasting vegetables is a crime, for the goodness they bring in to our health and ofcourse, the escalating prices we had to pay.

One of the ways by which you could control wastage is to plan your weekly meals in advance, based on the veggies you have stocked up. Though I plan my daily meals the night before, "weekly" meal planning seems like a lot of work to me. I do understand the benefits it bring in, so hopefully I would get there soon.

Meanwhile, I'm gonna share a simple tip that I have been following diligently for the last 4 years and has helped me in many ways. It's so simple that by the end of it, you might even think if this requires a blogpost :-)

On days I go for vegetable shopping, I take around 30 minutes in the evening (I make a simple dinner that night to get the extra 30 min).
I bring out all the left-over veggies from my fridge first.
I take a piece of paper and first write down the names of these veggies. I also include quantities of bigger veggies like beetroot, drumstick etc.
Then I draw a horizontal line.
I bring my veggie shopping bag and empty it on the kitchen counter.
I sort the new veggies and put them in bags. If it's greens, I trim the roots, wrap them in wet cotton towels and put them in bags.
I write down all the new veggies, just below the horizontal line.
To the right, I write down the names of the greens I bought. This is because greens would wilt in 1-2 days and I would want to use them soon, even if there are any old veggies lying around.
Once everything is written down, I place the older veggies in the top shelf in my fridge and the newer ones go into the lower vegetable drawer.
This paper is stuck on my fridge (using a fridge magnet) for the whole of that week.
During the week, as and when I use the veggies, I keep striking them off (A pencil sits on top of the fridge for this exact purpose).
Every night, I take a look at this small piece of paper and mentally plan my meals for the next day. Obviously, the older veggies and greens get a higher preference.

That's it…this simple tip helps me to keep track of the available veggies, plan my meals and also help eliminate wastage.

I don't write down the names of compulsory vegetables like tomato, onion etc. They'll always be around!

Do share in the comments if this tip was helpful or if you follow any other methods :-)

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