Saving Food Before You Travel

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We’re getting ready for a 10 day trip to Denver. Counting travel, that’s 12 days we’ll be gone.

Before leaving for long periods I always make sure to clean out the refrigerator. Today, this is what I pulled out.


I don’t want any of it to go to waste. We have 3 dinners remaining until we leave, so I need to make the most of what we have for those dinners and find a good use for the remaining food items.

This is what I’m planning for dinners: Pesto pasta, black bean tacos, and pizza rolls with salad.

The remaining food is going to be used to make: sauerkraut, pesto, canned pears, and the remaining bits will be added to my frozen stock jar in the freezer.

If I can successfully make all of this happen in one day, we will leave for Denver without wasting any food while away.

How do you begin a marathon cook day like this? You begin by choosing an 80+ degree day so the kitchen gets unbearably hot. No I’m kidding. My poor planning landed my day of food prep on a day too hot for kitchen comfort, but the key to success here is planning. Pull everything perishable out, what do you have or need to use up, what do you need to make, what takes the longest to cook, and plan accordingly. Then get busy!

Six hours later, this is what I had: 2 jars spicy black beans, 1 jar canned peaches, 1 bag frozen brussels sprouts, 2 sauerkraut recipes started, 2 jars carrots ready for travel, 2 dinner servings of pesto, 2 frozen calzones, 1 jar dried cilantro, 1 large dinner salad, the week’s dinner prep finished, and an empty refrigerator! And it only took me about 6 hours, yikes!

How do you prevent food waste before leaving on a long vacation?

Since I do my large shopping trip at the beginning of the month, finding ways to use everything was difficult. Some foods had over ripened, which left me searching for ideas. But thanks to the internet and Pinterest, we’re leaving town with a clean fridge and full bellies! Now that the refrigerator is pretty much empty, I got a change to wipe it out.


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