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Keep your storage tidy, avoid throwing food away, save money and be a great cook at the same time.

christianehansen says:

I (a) love cooking and (b) love trying different fancy basic ingredients: lentils, dried beans, chickpeas, cereals of all sorts, different types of rice, bulgur, quinoa, polenta, couscous, buckwheat flour …
But also, I have (c) very limited kitchen storage, (d) a lousy memory and (e) for fresh supplies like meat, fish, or vegetables, I usually head to the supermarket after work, when I’m not exactly feeling terribly inspired.
So it comes down to pasta and pizza most of the time, while the fancy supplies in my kitchen storage all-too-often have to find their end in the bin.

Now, this is what I came up with:
I took half an hour to look through my kitchen and made a list of all these ingredients. I added the rough amount of what was left and the expiry date. I added priorities for anything that was rather close to this expiry date. Of course, one can also use the note function for additional ideas, or add links to recipes.

Now, whenever I find myself heading for the frozen pizza-aisle, I get out my smartphone and check out what’s waiting for me at home.
-- bonus feature: I use the ›approximate time needed‹ function to indicate the cooking times necessary for whatever pulses and cereals I am storing: at a glance, I can see what there is for a superquick dinner and what I could use if I feel like spending some time in the kitchen for a Sunday lunch.

When I have thus (c) purged a package of something, I mark it ›done‹, which gives me the warm and lovely feeling of having been productive, decluttering, and in control of my life.

Posted at 8:25pm on October 6, 2012

christianehansen says:

Just adding, as it's also food-related - but I'll need to start by telling how my birthday reminders expanded.
(1) I mean, you all use RTM to remind you of birthdays. I specify "*Name* birthday", the date, and choose to repeat every year (big surprise!!). I tagged these entries 'birthday'.
(2) I started expanding these entries using the note function, that is, by adding the person's phone number. I usually access RTM with my iphone, so i only need to tab the number to make a birthday call straight from the app. No need to fuss around with the adress book. (This also works beautifully with email-adresses).
(3) Obvious next step: I started yet another note to jot down ideas for gifts, adding links for anything that I spotted in online shops.
(4) with christmas coming up, one can very simply establish a temporary saved search looking for all entries tagged 'birthday' and organize christmas shopping without any extra 'XMAS'-lists that uselessly clutter your system for 11 months of the year (I didn't actually do this last year, but somewhere around here, I've read the trick to use priorities to differentiate between people I still need an xmas gift for and people whose's xmas gifts I still need to buy. An ingenious idea I am very grateful for. :-) ...)
(5) now finally, and where the food comes in: as I said, I really like cooking, and I also like to have friends over for dinner, so I added yet another set of notes to each person's birthday entry, indicating any allergies or dislikes. Because honestly, the fact that my best friend's wife can't eat any dairy products, etc., is an important piece of information, but NOT a piece of information that my brain readily provides right when I need it. Now, it comes down to a quick search or scroll for the person's name.

Posted 2 years ago

christianehansen says:

Emm, and I because I forgot (although this might be obvious too, and is really off-topic because not food-related):
It really helps create a smart list 'upcoming birthdays', saving the search for tag:birthday AND dueWithin:"2 weeks of today". (or any other time period you prefer)
Check this list every now and then for an early warning (you can even have a weekly reminder 'check smartlist for upcoming birthdays).
Saves you the trouble of adding extra yearly reminders like 'start thinking about xyz's birthday present'. :-)

Posted 2 years ago

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