While grocery shopping is one of my all-time favorite activities, I have found it difficult to balance keeping a full refrigerator and not letting food go to waste while I travel. Over the last few months, I have been on the go for work at least every other week. When I’m home I want to eat as much fresh produce as I can, but when it is time to leave again, I hate throwing things away.
With holiday travel coming up, I thought I would share a few tricks I’ve learned while balancing being home and on-the-go. Hopefully these tips will help you keep just the right amount of food at home without feeling wasteful.
Plan One Day at a Time
When I am home for several weeks continuously, it is smart to bulk purchase things that will last me two weeks or so. I had to learn the hard way that buying too much food at once will only hurt me (and my bank) while I’m traveling for long periods of time. I write out what I plan to eat for the few days I am home before I go shopping. This list helps me avoid getting too excited and buying food I won’t be able to finish in time for my next trip.
Stock up on Freezer Essentials
A few months ago I made this video about the five things I always have in my freezer. I could make several days of meals out of the items I have in my freezer right now. Stocking up with these items makes me less stressed about having to run to grab groceries the day after I arrive home after a late flight.
Swap Cereal for Oatmeal
Now that it has gotten chillier, I am back to loving a warm bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Having the microwavable packets available in between trips allows me to still feel healthy without worrying about expiration dates. As much as I love a bowl of cereal or yogurt parfait for breakfast, dairy is unpredictable. I will avoid having to smell milk to determine if it’s still good…no thank you!
There are two things I have fallen back in love with this fall: mixed nuts and popcorn. Keep your favorite assortment of nuts in an airtight container in your pantry. They serve as a perfect snack that you can rely on for weeks. Individual bags of microwave popcorn can double as a snack or even a light dinner if you arrive home at an awkward time and don’t feel like cooking.
Cooking versus Eating Out
When I am home in between trips, I try to justify going out to eat so I won’t dirty my clean kitchen. However, once I get my knife to the cutting board and hear the sizzle of the pan, I am so happy I stayed in to cook my own meal. Having to do my own dishes and tidy up the kitchen will beat the waiting in a restaurant and having to sign another receipt for a meal I could have enjoyed in my own home.
Love food. Love self. Love life.