Friday, May 21, 2010

#2: Cook

It sounds so stupid. It seems silly that something as simple as cooking could impact your life so much. In the grand scheme of things this is the second biggest impact on our consumption and waste.

When you cook (I mean from scratch) dinners every night, then you have control over what you eat. Generally you throw less in the garbage too. We will go over more of the clean up from a night of cooking in later installments.

I know exactly what I am feeding my family. Don't get me wrong, we still buy packaged things, but not like we used to.

My morning goes as follows:
6:00 alarm goes off
6:14 I actually get out of bed (to my wife's dismay)
6:15 start coffee and water for oatmeal
6:17-7:00 make smoothie and oatmeal, get dressed, drink coffee, do homework, etc.
7:00 get the kids up
7:05-7:50 drink coffee and smoothie, eat oatmeal
7:58 take kids, late, to before-school activities (jazz band or chess club)

Our dinners are planned out a week (at least) ahead of time so our grocery list is complete for a week. This part is where we save money and waste also. By going once a week, we save gas (if we even drive, I did make a bike trailer which will hold an entire weeks groceries for the 2.5 mile return trip from the store). My shopping bill for a week is rarely over $90 for two adults and three children. This is a honed skill, using coupons and sale prices, and pantry space for the stock-up items. This will probably be another installment as well.

I realize that this series is not going to be revolutionary, but 20-30 small steps can make a huge difference when added up. I am also sure there are many sources for this information online, but these are the steps we have made in my home, not just a regurgitation of other people's ideas. These have worked for me and mine, they may work for you and your's.