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Keeping it cool – decluttering the fridge.

While showing off our ootsy-cutesy home over the holidays, someone mentioned that their small fridge was driving them a bit crazy, as it was just too small to adequately hold their needed victuals between trips to the market.

I didn’t see how it was an issue for us as we have three markets within easy walking distance, and we can replenish our little Blomberg quite easily and frequently — every day if we want.


But guess what — now it’s an issue.

Mostly because none of the local markets supplies small amounts of foodstuffs for couples with small fridges — they are used to stocking huge freezers with family-sized boxes and bags of food.  Plus I just go a little nuts when I see some produce I like, so our eensy crisper gets filled up and spills over into the limited number of shelves.

It’s a habit I must break myself of — right now I am wondering how I am going to get rid of a large bunch of kale and 3/4 of a head of cabbage since I’ve discovered that my cabbage/kale soup has a deleterious effect on DH’s  digestive tract. I bought a lot because a) I like cabbage/kale soup, and b) it’s cheap (like borscht!  only cheaper!), and c) no one in the neighbourhood sells half a head of cabbage. Plus I find myself with a leek (they only came in bunches of 3) and half a sweet potato.

I have learned my lesson, and will only get what we need from now on, and I am sure I will be able to clear out the fridge if I plan a few meals of leek/kale/sweet potato soup (it is a real thing) with cole slaw on the side.

I’m usually quite good at planning meals — I customarily make a month’s plan of meals so we’re not repeating the old stand-bys and we’re trying new recipes.  I just went off the rails with the move.

But it turns out that wasting food is not just a fault of mine…

  • It’s estimated that 40% of America’s food supply ends up in the trash.

  • 10% of greenhouse emissions from developed countries is generated by the production of food that is never eaten.

Yikes!  This article from Life Edited came along just at the right time.  It offers six tips for editing down your supplies, and preventing waste. As it suggests in the article, I buy food from the perimeter of the grocery store, the produce, meat, dairy, and bakery, and try to stay away from the processed food in the middle.  And we save our scraps for the city’s compost scheme. Leftovers get taken to work for lunch.

But I am guilty of saving cans and jars of food “for special”

Avoid “precious” food. How many times have you bought special cheese, meat, heirloom tomatoes–whatever–and waited to use it for a special occasion, only for that food to end up rotting? Have a plan for your food–either eat it at an appointed time or immediately. Food spoils. Make every day a special occasion.

And henceforth, I swear I will live by this rule:

Buy only what you need. This is a pretty obvious one, but try to buy the food and the quantities you know you’ll consume from one shopping trip to another. It’s okay to have an empty fridge before you go shopping. If feasible in your area, make more frequent, smaller shopping trips.

About ladywholivesdownthelane

Starting the adventure of building a laneway house in the real-estate jungle of Vancouver, BC

4 responses »

  1. What about a cold-box on your roof patio during the cooler winter months? Might be adequate for sturdier produce like cabbage, leeks and carrots?
    BTW, one way around the deleterious nature of over-fibrous soups is a really really good blender. Uh oh, that needs space. Hmmm!!! Steam the kale, then blender it to a very creamy consistency, and if the roughage is the issue, might ease its passage!

    • A cold box is a good idea, but eventually we will have to learn to live in the space allotted us — and that means our little fridge. But a cold box on the roof patio makes perfect sense if we are having a party (a summer-time possibility) and we can borrow the “big house”‘s camping cooler.

  2. I read that you had kale, cabbage and a leek and immediately thought of a fabulous gratin I served my in-laws last weekend: I sure the leek would be a fine substitute for the regular onion. Yum!


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