It's been a long week and exhaustion is plaguing me both physically and emotionally. I will be so happy to be done working two jobs next week. The exhaustion is preventing me from being as organized and prepped as I would like to be, which is causing more exhaustion in many ways. Even if it's store bought frozen dinners everybody should have a couple emergency meals available. If I had food put up that I could pull out on nights I can barely stay awake it would be so helpful. I will plan on working on this on the weekends now that they'll be free. Canning beans, stews, and soups up so we have meals at hand will be a huge time and money saver. I'm sure Matt wouldn't mind if I made up a lasagna one night and froze a couple for future meals. For us, loaf pans of lasagna are the perfect size and freeze easily so a regular size batch of lasagna will actually net us 3 to 4 meals. Since we don't have any pizza joints in town that we really like I might try my hand at making and freezing up some for future meals.
Another thing that has been bothering me has been how much food we've been wasting lately. I'm sure everybody has seen the Ziplock commercial where they say the average family throws out $400 worth of food every year. I could do a lot with $400! Our waste takes many forms from forgetting to put food away after supper, putting things in the fridge and forgetting, and buying fruit and not eating it (I'm guilty of this since Matt doesn't eat much fruit). So I've decided to start focusing on this.
This afternoon I realized I'd forgotten to take anything out for supper. Since I don't have much in emergency food supplies I had to think about what was in the fridge and cupboards and plan a meal. I had about 1/2 pound of sausage, maybe a little less, that I wanted to use up which was left over from making pizza Tuesday night. I discussed it with Matt after he got home. I suggested we use the sausage to make patties and serve it with a box of mac & cheese from the cabinet and some type of vegetable. He came up with a better idea, he fried the sausage up with some peppers from our frozen stash in the freezer and some onion and put it in some brat rolls we had left over from last week. This yummy sandwich served with ranch was something he'd eaten at a bar years ago and came to mind when we were talking about options. It was an excellent use of what we had on hand and used up a couple items before they went bad.
Sunday I didn't have time to start anything before I left for work so Matt said he'd take care of it. I had some chicken tenders in the fridge he pulled out and grilled. There were several left over that would have typically been thrown out. Instead I made sure to incorporate them into my lunches this week. Monday I chopped up two of the tenders and put it on top of a salad for a protein source. Wednesday I made a quesadilla with the last tender and some of the frozen green peppers with sides of sour cream and leftover home canned salsa. I also bought some mini guacamole containers to try and took one of those and some leftover chips that are starting to go stale. Excellent meals at no cost and using up items I already had on hand. Hopefully I stay diligent about using things up.
I normally frown on wasting money on single serve containers because they're so much more expensive than a large size that I can break into servings here at the house. I love homemade guacamole but don't have time to make it fresh all the time. I also haven't tried the store versions so I wasn't sure if I would like it and I also know I probably wouldn't eat a whole container before it went bad. This way I can spread my guacamole servings over a longer period of time without the worry they will go bad. I may do the same thing with hummus. It also helps prevent me from overeating.