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Sarah from Yes and Yes discusses how to save money, time and food waste with a no grocery challenge. Sarah shares her easy and practical approach to cutting down your monthly grocery trips while still eating well.
On today’s episode I speak with Sarah Von Bargen from the popular blog Yes and Yes. Sarah is a writer, educator, and speaker who helps people spend their time, money, and energy on purpose.
Sarah and I chat about her no grocery challenge and how we can run our own. I have become acutely aware of the issue of food waste since becoming a food blogger, and I have made it my mission in recent years to try and minimise my own household food waste.
This is where Sarah’s no grocery challenge comes in. It’s about taking a good look at what we actually have and thinking outside the box as to what we can prepare for our three meals every day.
A no grocery challenge can also save you time and money. Ever found yourself popping to the grocery store during the week for just one more thing and leaving with $40 less in your pocket? Well avoiding the grocery store altogether is one way to cut that down.
Sarah’s easy and achievable approach to cutting down on our grocery trips and making the most of what we have will leave you feeling inspired to start your own no grocery challenge.
Save Money, Time & Waste with a No Grocery Challenge
WHAT IS A NO GROCERY CHALLENGE?
On the last week of every month Sarah doesn’t go grocery shopping and cooks with what she has in her fridge, freezer or cupboard.
Sarah shares her No Grocery Challenge meals on her Instagram – showing a before photo of the ingredients she has to work with and the end meal she comes up with.
Anyone is welcome to take part in their own No Grocery Challenge and Sarah receives regular feedback from their followers at how amazed they are by what they can come up with from the ingredients they already have, as well as how much time and money they save.
STORING FOOD TO MAKE IT LAST LONGER
Take the time to find out how to store fruit and vegetables properly. Some fruits and vegetables release gases which make them ripen faster.
Sarah also suggests using your vegetable crisper for things you want to eat less of. Keeping your fruits and vegetables at eye level will encourage you to eat them so they don’t spoil before being used.
Sarah also recommends storing things in clear containers to encourage you to eat them. Transfer your takeout to a clear container or store leftovers in clear containers so you can see them when you go to the fridge.
HOW DO WE CHANGE OUR MINDSET TO FACILITATE REDUCING WASTE?
It’s important to find what motivates you when it comes to reducing food waste and committing to a no grocery challenge.
Are you motivated by the fact that you hate grocery shopping and by cutting down to one trip a week you would save you 4 hours a month?
Are you motivated by climate change and would like to minimise food waste and carbon footprint?
Are you motivated by simply being able to save money on your grocery bill?
Find your why and it becomes easier to kickstart a no grocery challenge.
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD HABITS WE CAN CREATE AROUND COOKING & PREPPING FOOD?
One of the easiest things to start with is simply looking at what you already have in your fridge / freezer /cupboards before you go grocery shopping and start to put together a meal plan based on what you already have.
If you have packets of half used pasta, buy some marinara sauce and make some pasta. If you’ve got a tonne of tomatoes, make tomato soup and grilled cheese etc.
Sarah also suggests not to go grocery shopping when you’re hungry / in a foul mood, because that usually makes us spends so much more and buy unnecessary things.
If you have a hard time shopping off a list and tend to add things that shouldn’t be in your cart, try and outsource your grocery shopping.
HOW TO GET IDEAS FOR WHAT TO MAKE WITH THE INGREDIENTS YOU HAVE
Sarah likes to use All Recipes as they have an ingredient search function that you can use to search for recipes that use what you have.
Sarah finds she can add almost any roasted vegetable to pasta with cheese for a delicious dinner, or even clear out her crisper by making a frittata.
As you do more and more no grocery challenges you will become more confident with what you can make in the kitchen.
Sarah also recommends becoming familiar with the spices used in different cuisines to mix things up simply and easily.
6:03 – What is a no grocery challenge
8:40 – How to store food
12:50 – Changing our mindset
14:50 – Creating good habits
18:40 – What meals to make
WHERE TO FIND SARAH
Visit our show page for more episodes!