Lisa Markwell: A broken fridge helped me learn that less is more

I'm determined not to fall into the same trap of throwing away 20 per cent of my food purchases

Share
Related Topics

Waste not, want not is a mantra that I can't say I've lived by. With two children, a full-time job and an appetite some distance past hearty, a fully stocked fridge and freezer has been a great comfort. Until four weeks ago, that is, when it broke. Expensively, comprehensively.

A fully stocked American-style fridge/freezer can hold £300-worth of food – throwing it all away after it spoiled (why do appliances always break when you're out?) was heartbreaking.

But it has taught me a valuable lesson. Due to a woeful service contract and a cashflow problem, I have now existed for a month without refrigeration – and the result is healthier meals, smaller bills and very little waste. Where once I'd buy the biggest chicken and stash the leftovers and carcass for future meals (but all too often throw the unused bits away), now it's a small chicken with, at best, a couple of wings for the school lunchbox the next day. Milk is bought in single pint bottles instead of litre ones that go off before we can use them. We rely on veggies much more, too, because they don't spoil and the foxes don't seek them out with quite the same urgency when stashed in the "larder" (for which read back garden).

Managing without a fridge is not a long-term solution, but this interesting, if unplanned, experiment has cured me of the "big shop" mentality. There will be no more freezing "forgotten" sausages as they approach their sell-by date, only to find them, frostbitten, a year later. I always felt sickened by tossing out hard/soft/green produce.

Tomorrow, a smaller appliance arrives and I'm determined not to fall into the same trap of throwing away 20 per cent of my food purchases. I'm lucky to live near shops where I can buy fresh produce every day – but if you can, try it for even just a weekend. When it comes to food now, for me, less is more.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 5 Teacher SENS Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

English Teacher, full time role, delightul Whitstable school

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We have an urgent requirement fo...

Year 5/6 Teachers needed for supply roles across the region

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ke...

Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The JobOur client is looki...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: EU news, and other reasons to be cheerful

John Rentoul
The influx of hundreds of thousands of eastern European workers has significantly altered the composition of some parts of Britain  

Immigration is the issue many in Labour fear most

Nigel Morris
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker