Getting the most out of our money–isn’t that what most people want? Folks coupon, comparison shop, buy used and more to try to save a dime. I applaud that and personally try to get the most out of everything I spend my hard earned money on–especially food.
Although I still throw out more food then I would like, over the years I’ve made it a goal to try to waste as little as possible. That’s one of the reasons why I make a weekly meal plan–it helps me to focus on what food needs to be used up in the fridge and plan meals around it.
It’s easy to see that you are wasting food when you toss out that manky cucumber that has gone soft and moldy in the crisper drawer. (ick!) It’s not so easy to see that you are wasting food when it comes to what’s left in your bottles and jars.
Although I make a lot of my food from scratch, there are a few prepackaged items I like to keep on hand to make life easier. One of those items is jarred Alfredo sauce. Almost any leftover meat, fish or vegetable can be mixed with Alfredo sauce and turned into a delicious pasta topping.
When you pour the sauce out of the jar (or scoop the last of the peanut butter out of the tub, or use up the end of the mayonnaise) the jar looks pretty empty. Years ago I used to figure it was done and just toss it out. Then I read a book called “The Tightwad Gazette” by Amy Dacyczyn. It’s a collection of articles–reprints of a newsletter she wrote and mailed out in the 80’s. Fantastic stuff. There is an article in there where she says that one of the best frugal tools she has is a spatula!
Yes, a spatula. With a spatula you can usually scrape out enough peanut butter from the “empty” jar to make one more sandwich. Or in my case, you can get another couple of tablespoons of Alfredo out of the jar:
The spatula I like to use is small and fits well in narrow jars. I purchased it at The Dollar Tree years ago. I checked when I was in the store a few weeks ago, they are still selling the same one!
So next time you are getting ready to throw that bottle or jar in the trash, take a minute and make sure that you’ve “Used it Up!”.