Pet Project: Zero Waste Home (Almost)

I love the idea of never throwing something away again. I already do this with coffee grounds, and I recycle as best I can. (I live in an apartment so sometimes recycling isn’t an option. Gasp. I know.) It is a dream of mine to accomplish this. (Although I still plan on using sanitary napkins, disposable diapers, and bathroom products. I live in a house of boys people.)

Here is the grand master list of what I have and want to accomplish to do my part in being green:

Cloth products

  • Cloth grocery bags
  • Cloth produce bags
  • Cloth or paper dry goods bags
  • Cloth paper towels
  • Cloth napkins
  • Cloth bread bag
  • Cloth gift wrapping


  • Buy local meats, eggs, and produce
  • Make my own bread
  • Bake own sweets (cookies, brownies, cakes, etc)
  • Make own ice cream and pop-cycles using real fruit
  • Leftovers in all glass/metal containers like mason jars
  • Can own food
  • Make own condiments
  • Grow own herbs, spices, and misc


  • E-bills
  • Magazines online only
  • Old clothes to dusting and cleaning rags
  • Make own laundry detergent
  • Reusable coffee cups
  • Reusable ‘ziplocks’
  • Reusable water bottles

And many more to come. I’m crossing off the ones that we already do, or that I’ve successfully implemented into life for at least a month (the time it takes to build a habit, right?)


How to Populate a Shopping List from a Meal Plan!

We have a completed menu, but that doesn’t really help us when it comes to knowing what to keep in stock now does it!? Part 2 of meal planning, in my book, means that I should have a list of exactly everything I need to buy from the store to make said dishes. I also don’t want to go every night, twice a week, or even once a week. Try twice a month!

Here’s how I did it.

Month of meal plans laid out

I went back to my month and started a new spreadsheet in Google Drive. I started with day one, Precooked Chicken and frozen veggies. Ok, easy. So on my new spreadsheet, I made two columns, one for week one, the second for week two. Looks a bit like this:

BlankBiMonthlyShoppingListThen I put down the Precooked Chicken and frozen veggies at the top of column one, and kept the color coding, just because I’m a color coding type of person. I did that for every meal I was cooking for. And finally I went through each recipe, using my Recipe Master List from the first post, and filled out each dish.

bi-monthlyshoppinglist titlespopulated      FilledoutBimonthlyShoppingList

Finally I print out that list and go through my pantry, crossing off what I already have. And viola! Ready to go shopping!

But wait! There’s more! What about the other things that I need to get from the store, you ask? Well I simply printed out this handy dandy sheet and pinned it to the wall in the kitchen. Whenever we run out of something, say paper towels, my husband or myself can write it down on this list. If it doesn’t get written down, it doesn’t get bought. Tough love style!

grocery list