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Too much food lying around the house. My shopping habits are officially outsized

DrEnalgDrEnalg Member Posts: 650 Member Member Posts: 650 Member
So, I'm getting punished by success. I've so far lost nearly 30 pounds (15 pre-MFP, about 13 of it after joining MFP), and since really getting good at this calorie-counting thing, I've found that I seem to be buying way more food than I eat. My freezer is stuffed, I have little bags of food and little containers floating around my refrigerator, and my cupboards have all this random crap in it.

I'm doing great on the eating less - but I don't seem to be acquiring less food, which is driving me a bit bonkers.

Can anyone relate? Tips?
edited July 2015
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Replies

  • PrizePopplePrizePopple Member Posts: 3,193 Member Member Posts: 3,193 Member
    Buy less food?

    Or use what you have before you go shopping again, and before you go shopping make sure you have meal plans laid out so you know what you need and don't buy too much.
  • cabwjcabwj Member Posts: 847 Member Member Posts: 847 Member
    I can relate. Since getting adept at making better choices I tend to buy them all! Then, like you, I have them all packaged into little containers and baggies. Unfortunately I seem to have more waste lately since I want to just buy all the fresh fruits and veggies and then can't eat them all.

    I think I need to change my mindset from shopping every Saturday morning to just when needed.
  • MonsoonStormMonsoonStorm Member Posts: 371 Member Member Posts: 371 Member
    Can you do your shopping online?

    Search for exactly what you need, it greatly cuts down on the possibilities of impulse buying whatever you are passing and happens to look good. Some supermarkets will let you create favourite lists, you may then never need to look in the actual store section again.
  • gmallangmallan Member Posts: 2,099 Member Member Posts: 2,099 Member
    Have a few days every two weeks or a week every month where you aim to live off what you have in your freezer/fridge/pantry and buy as little as possible. I used to do this every two weeks for the three days before payday
  • flaminicaflaminica Member Posts: 304 Member Member Posts: 304 Member
    gmallan wrote: »
    Have a few days every two weeks or a week every month where you aim to live off what you have in your freezer/fridge/pantry and buy as little as possible. I used to do this every two weeks for the three days before payday

    This is a great idea. Jumpstart it now by deciding to eat only food already in the house for a week or however many days you can hold out. Not only will you clean out all the backlog, you'll be forced to get creative and try new things with odd and ends.

  • tomatoeytomatoey Member Posts: 5,459 Member Member Posts: 5,459 Member
    Eat what's in your fridge?

    After you do that, or throw out things you know you won't eat (or things that are past it, because freezer burn happens, after all), try this:

    Plan your meals for 2-3 days. Buy just enough food for those meals. See what you wind up doing with any leftovers.

    Personally, I don't like to freeze food I've cooked, because I rarely want to eat it later (most things taste worse for the freezing). I might make enough for leftovers the next day, but that's it. So that's how I plan and shop. (I shop for 3 days, max, sometimes just for the day.)

    If you want to shop just once a week, extrapolate from your 3-day experiment (just double the amounts).

    The only things I batch-cook and freeze are burgers, because they stink up my place for 2-3 days, and I can only bear the smell so many times in a month. And I know I'll eat them, because they're delicious, and pretty resilient to loss of flavour/texture from the freezing.
    edited July 2015
  • KalikelKalikel Member Posts: 9,626 Member Member Posts: 9,626 Member
    Yes! I remember that! You forget about leftovers, etc. I was always wondering what was wrapped in that tin foil square or in that Tupperware, lol.

    It went on and on and I'd be throwing out food which IMO is practically a sin. I shaped up. I'm more careful about how much I make so leftovers don't go bad. I put stuff in the same containers every time - PB in orange, raspberry jam in pink, cottage cheese in the Publix cottage cheese containers (saved 'em!)

    Frozen stuff that isn't obvious get labelled.

    I make bowls of mixed frozen fruits and they're frozen and ready to go, but nothing else in that size bowl.

    Anything extra gets put front and center.

    Organization and checking the fridge before cooking - that's the key! (IMO.) :)
    edited July 2015
  • faithyangfaithyang Member Posts: 297 Member Member Posts: 297 Member
    DrEnalg wrote: »
    So, I'm getting punished by success. I've so far lost nearly 30 pounds (15 pre-MFP, about 13 of it after joining MFP), and since really getting good at this calorie-counting thing, I've found that I seem to be buying way more food than I eat. My freezer is stuffed, I have little bags of food and little containers floating around my refrigerator, and my cupboards have all this random crap in it.

    I'm doing great on the eating less - but I don't seem to be acquiring less food, which is driving me a bit bonkers.

    Can anyone relate? Tips?

    YES I CAN RELATE.

    My fridge is overflowing with food, leftover packets, portions, etc.

    All the recipes out there are for 4-6 and I'm just horrible at reducing the portions while cooking because I worry it would spoil the end product. So it's a massive meal I have to sub-divide and I have been going through periods where all I eat are leftovers for days and days. LOL.

    Then I plan for the next week, go grocery shopping and MORE food piles into my fridge.

    I've now learnt that:

    - I don't have to buy groceries EVERY WEEK just because a new sale is out in the catalogue for a product. Unless it's like 80-90% off rule of thumb is...I don't need it, I don't need to buy it now and there will always be another sale.
    - I can just build my new meals around what's already in my fridge to use up the leftovers.
    - I won't buy anything until I'm done with the stuff in my fridge before they spoil, or freeze them (be sure to label the date, and the description of the leftover/food)
    - I should plan a week ahead or at least have a good idea of what I'm going to be eating so I can plan for the above.


    It's so far worked quite well for me, and I've not only saved quite alot of money, kept to my calorie limit and most importantly, less wastage. Past 3 weeks I've saved over $300.
    edited July 2015
  • Alatariel75Alatariel75 Member Posts: 17,638 Member Member Posts: 17,638 Member
    I get a bit like that, so whenb I do I put my foot down and refuse to buy food until I diminish the stockpile. Doesn't matter if I don't have the ingredients for that I want, I have to make do with what I have.
  • faithyangfaithyang Member Posts: 297 Member Member Posts: 297 Member
    I get a bit like that, so whenb I do I put my foot down and refuse to buy food until I diminish the stockpile. Doesn't matter if I don't have the ingredients for that I want, I have to make do with what I have.

    @Alatariel75, Yeah haha I have to consciously swat away those stray thoughts when walking around a supermarket or a market that goes along the lines of "Hmm, those leeks would go well with x leftovers", or "Oo, that canned tomato soup would go well with that tin of tuna I have in the pantry like I saw on that Youtube video about easy Sicilian Tuna Pasta." :disappointed:
    edited July 2015
  • Alatariel75Alatariel75 Member Posts: 17,638 Member Member Posts: 17,638 Member
    faithyang wrote: »
    I get a bit like that, so whenb I do I put my foot down and refuse to buy food until I diminish the stockpile. Doesn't matter if I don't have the ingredients for that I want, I have to make do with what I have.

    @Alatariel75, Yeah haha I have to consciously swat away those stray thoughts when walking around a supermarket or a market that goes along the lines of "Hmm, those leeks would go well with x leftovers", or "Oo, that canned tomato soup would go well with that tin of tuna I have in the pantry like I saw on that Youtube video about easy Sicilian Tuna Pasta." :disappointed:

    I have to do the same, and I admit I end up with some pretty whacky meals when I have to start living off the contents of the supboard!
  • RodaRoseRodaRose Member Posts: 9,574 Member Member Posts: 9,574 Member
    I believe that this has to do with organizing the fridge and the pantry so that things are logically stored. It might be worth it to buy a fresh set of tupperware-type or glass containers so that they match and stack nicely.
  • dizzieblondeukdizzieblondeuk Member Posts: 286 Member Member Posts: 286 Member
    Every month, I clean out my fridge top to bottom, lifting out every single thing. Expired stuff gets binned, and anything in date, but not used up goes on my 'need to use' list. I write out weekly meal plans before I go food shopping at the weekend, and use that list as a jump-off point for working out what recipes I'll do over the next few days. It also helps me really understand what needs buying regularly, and helps me see the usage rates of lots of things (ketchup, mayo etc).

    As for my freezer, over a couple of months, the leftovers, or extra purchases (meats, fish, etc), will have found their way in there. Most do get used up, but there'll always be a few of things that get forgotten. I have a 3-monthly clear out (have to do this anyway, as the freezer gets horribly iced if I leave it too long!). Again, I write a list of the things in there, and we'll have a week or so of pretty much living off the freezer, and having a fairly minimal shop that week.

    BTW, before Christmas, when fridge/freezer space is needed more, we'll eat down the contents of both in the lead-up, in order to leave room for the necessary purchases! I've found the BBC food website is great as a tool, where you can plug in a couple of ingredients, and it comes up with a load of recipes using them.
  • faithyangfaithyang Member Posts: 297 Member Member Posts: 297 Member
    @dizzieblondeuk - I don't know why I pictured the leftover parfait from Malcom in the Middle of all the leftovers of the week in a casserole! parfait.jpg

    Ohh, the 90s. :smile:
  • ohmscheeksohmscheeks Member Posts: 844 Member Member Posts: 844 Member
    Walk through your house making a list of what you need. Then, walk back through your house again to double check. Then, only buy the items on the list.
  • dizzieblondeukdizzieblondeuk Member Posts: 286 Member Member Posts: 286 Member
    faithyang wrote: »
    @dizzieblondeuk - I don't know why I pictured the leftover parfait from Malcom in the Middle of all the leftovers of the week in a casserole! parfait.jpg

    Ohh, the 90s. :smile:
    Well, I don't used all my leftovers at once - but that is a great gif! I do think getting out of a 'big shop because it's the weekend' mentality is good though. The thing is, I've changed my shopping habits anyway, from a budget perspective. Where once, it'd be one big supermarket and done, now I do my core shop at Aldi/Lidl (meats, dairy, fruit, veg and basic cupboard stuff), at a much reduced price from what I once paid. Then I shop around on comparison websites for the best offers each week for other things - and go to the shop that is offering the best deal to get things like my favourite branded cereals, and other things. It takes a little bit more time to do, but it also makes me thing more critically about the meals I make, and how I'm spending my food budget.
  • accidentalpancakeaccidentalpancake Member, Premium Posts: 484 Member Member, Premium Posts: 484 Member
    gmallan wrote: »
    Have a few days every two weeks or a week every month where you aim to live off what you have in your freezer/fridge/pantry and buy as little as possible. I used to do this every two weeks for the three days before payday

    This right here.

    Since I've started doing this, I've had quite a few trips to the store that I didn't even need a cart/basket for.
  • snickerscharliesnickerscharlie Member Posts: 8,582 Member Member Posts: 8,582 Member
    I grocery shop twice a week. On the night before, we have a forage night - that's where everybody does their own thing for dinner. It's great for clearing out the leftovers and gives me a break from cooking, too. :)
  • withoutasaddlewithoutasaddle Member Posts: 191 Member Member Posts: 191 Member
    Oh my goodness 100% yes! I'll go to the store and be like "ooh! Bananas! Healthy! Let's buy 10!" And "woah 50 call whole grain tortillas? I'll take em" and it just keeps adding up. I don't have a ton of unhealthy stuff, but the stuff I do have is going to go bad any day I bet
  • bmchenry02bmchenry02 Member Posts: 233 Member Member Posts: 233 Member
    I grocery shop twice a week. On the night before, we have a forage night - that's where everybody does their own thing for dinner. It's great for clearing out the leftovers and gives me a break from cooking, too. :)

    I do this combined with a meal plan and inventory list for for my freezer. I would often buy too much ground turkey forgetting I had two half portions frozen already etc.

    Plan out your meals based on what you have including snacks for the week. When you need a new rotation just choose 3-4 and not every healthy thing that catches your eye. GUILTY!! But hey, if it's non perishable stuff your grocery bill is less next time ;).
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