Save Food, Save Money: Cook Those Leftovers!

With food waste on the rise in the United States, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re eating all of the edible food in your fridge. But how do you make leftovers appetizing again? Below are some helpful tips and tricks for making the most out of your food – over and over again.

Cook Those Leftovers

The average American dumps 3.5 pounds of leftovers a week, but it can be hard to make week-old food appetizing again. Our solution? Dump the microwave! The secret to making old food tasty is to cook it with care, using the stove, oven, and even the grill. Here are some creative recipes for ingredients past their prime.

All of us are guilty of shoving leftover ingredients to the back of the fridge in favor of fresher, exciting food, but these tips from Save the Food can help revive that perfectly good food into a totally new entree. You’ll find creative recipes from falafel to browned-banana bread! Save the Food also offers simple ways to revive meals gone awry, whether burned, stale, or overcooked.

leftover recipies

Afraid of reheating pasta or rice to dried-out oblivion? Check out these tips for pasta with and without sauce, and perfectly fluffy rice! And these leftover recipes from BBC Good Food help you reuse everything from wilted salads to stale bread.

Even your weekly grocery shopping can make a difference in the fight against food waste. Consider supporting or starting a local co-op grocery store – click here to find one near you! Since they’re run democratically by you and your neighbors, co-ops tailor their ordering and waste less food, and they are leaders in recycling and composting. If you live in Essex County, MA, consider becoming a member of the Merrimack Valley Food Co-op, a start up grocery co-op that will serve the Haverhill, Lawrence, Newburyport, and Methuen areas.

However you choose to reduce food waste, it takes a community to foster change: consider sharing this article with your friends!



Save Food, Save Money: Meal Planning

Food waste in the United States has reached unimaginable levels. The Guardian estimates that half of all perfectly good produce is thrown away, both “upstream” at the farms and “downstream” in groceries, restaurants, and households. Reducing your personal food waste will not only help address this epidemic, but can also save you time and money! This series will provide some simple tips and tools to reduce your food waste.

save food what gets tossed

Plan Your Meals

Ready to save money and the environment? Meal planning has been proven to help you save money at the grocery store, eat healthier, and throw out less food; but how do you go from eating out every night to type-A planner? Here are a couple tools to help out:

Introducing the Guestimator! This handy tool will help you calculate how much food you need to feed any party, including those voracious teenagers and picky in-laws. With their measurements, you’ll reduce the amount of leftover ingredients that tend to rot in the back of the fridge. Plus, you’ll save money by buying only as much as you need!

For smaller family meals, you might enjoy this Meal Kit Catalog from Handpick, which makes both grocery shopping and cooking a breeze! Each kit contains a selection of yummy recipes that share basic ingredients. Take the guesswork out of grocery shopping and meal preparation and try some yummy new recipes at the same time!

meal catalog

If you like these tips for reducing personal food waste, consider getting involved in your local community effort to save edible food. Whether you’re interested in gleaning overlooked produce from local farms, starting a community composting movement, or signing a petition to ask grocery stores to redistribute leftover produce, there are plenty of ways to help!

Even your weekly grocery shopping can make a difference. Consider supporting or starting a local co-op grocery store – click here to find one near you! Since they’re run democratically by you and your neighbors, co-ops tailor their ordering and waste less food. If you live in Essex County, MA, consider becoming a member of the Merrimack Valley Food Co-op, a start up grocery co-op that will serve the Haverhill, Lawrence, Newburyport, and Methuen areas.

co ops commit

Co-ops are leaders in sustainable practices like recycling and composting, and are committed to reducing carbon output through local food distributors. Plus, many co-ops offer discounts or monthly dividends for member-owners, so you can get money back on your groceries!

However you choose to reduce food waste, it takes a community to foster change: consider sharing this article with your friends!

Veggin’ Out at SALSA Fest

The MVFC vegged out at SALSA Fest, but not like couch potatoes! Several fruits and vegetables were in attendance at last week’s SALSA Fest in Lawrence, MA, and they were all excited to talk co-ops.


The partly-cloudy weather held as Merrimack Valley Food Co-op volunteers and members handed out delicious Equal Exchange fruit bars and chatted about the benefits of a food co-op in Essex County, MA. “Despacito” played across the beautiful South Common Park, and gleeful kids ran from table to table to play games and grab goodies. We had a blast playing the “Fruits and Vegetable Game”!

suzanne with kids

New and familiar faces stopped by the tent to hear more about our upcoming events, like the upcoming Savor Series featuring the Kennedy Hill Farm, and our vision for the first food co-op in the county. We signed up 19 new people to our email list, each of whom were entered in a raffle for natural cleaning products. We are also so excited to announce a new member family. Please welcome Kendrys Vasquez and his family to the co-op!

New members to the co-op family!

New members to the co-op family!

SALSA Fest highlighted local organizations committed to community health and wellness: the perfect place to talk co-ops. Food co-ops encourage a healthy and active lifestyle by providing far more fresh, local, and organic produce options than regular grocery stores. Many food co-ops offer classes on healthy eating and nutrition, because co-ops are dedicated to the community that supports and runs them. Supporting your local food co-op not only saves you money on your healthy groceries, but uplifts and educates your community!

Thanks again to Moderno Appliance and Equal Exchange for their generous donations, and to Groundwork Lawrence for another successful SALSA Fest.

We hope to see all of you at the last Savor Series before summer, June 24th from 4-6 PM!

Last One before Summer: Savor Series

Templeton Family 2Templeton Family Organics own Christine Templeton will join us for the final Savor Series before we take a Summer break. She is taking time off the farm to share with us the importance of local farms for a community. You will want to hear her story and learn all about their pasture raised, non-GMO pigs, turkey and chicken.

They run the historic Kennedy Hill Farm up in Goffstown, NH and sell to other area food co-ops and on their farm. They have created some interesting ways to engage the community and we will enjoy a great discussion and samples of their amazing chicken.

Please don’t keep us waiting, RSVP early so we have enough to share.

Sunday, June 24  4 – 6 pm hosted again at Moderno Appliance & Furniture

You can see in the link above that the store is around back at Stadium Plaza, just off Rt. 495 exit 42B in Lawrence, MA. Mark you calendar today!


Savor Series: Celeste Oliva Talks Olive Oil

Celeste Oliva logo with tree

Searching for just the right olive oil for your next meal? We continue our exploration of food as the olive oil experts from Celeste Oliva join us for the next Savor Series on Sunday, May 20 from 4-6pm. Owner Charla Mayotte will be with us to sample their delicious extra virgin olive oils and share tips and comparison of the Celeste Oliva products versus typical market brands.

We look forward to a fun and educational afternoon while we talk olive oil. Join us as Moderno Appliance & Furniture once again hosts MVFC for this tasty afternoon. Follow the signs and drive around to the back of the Plaza.

Community Meeting: Let’s Work Together

Merrimack Valley Food Co-op is looking forward to a good community discussion to share ideas about how the future member owned grocery store can benefit our community as a place to connect and engage with our neighbors, help our local economy with new jobs and educate the public about sustainable options and good environmental choices.

If you haven’t seen this infogrstatistics of the positive impact of co-ops from www.strongertogether.coopaphic to the right, this a quick summary of how co-ops benefit their community. Join us to learn more and talk about what you want for our city.

Join us at the May 20th Savor Series with Celeste Oliva 4-6pm or for our next Community Meeting just after the talk on Sunday, June 24 at 6pm. Be part of a positive change in Haverhill.

RSVP here to let us know that you want to be part of the conversation:


Savor Series: Under Utilized Fish Species

NH Seafood logoMVFC was inspired by our success with last October’s “Savor Haverhill” and have created the “Savor Series”. We are collaborating with local food experts and producers for a close up look at a specific food or industry in an effort to celebrate local business and stimulate interest in the creation of a locally based cooperative grocery store.

Savor Series kicks off Sunday, March 18 from 4-6pm with NH Community Seafood’s General Manager, Andrea Tomlinson presenting the topic “Under Utilized Fish” and sharing what we are all missing from these plentiful, local fish species.

Join us for an interesting discussion hosted at the retail location of Moderno Appliance & Furniture 160 Winthrop Ave, rear in Stadium Plaza Lawrence, MA 01843. Admission will be $5 per person to cover costs. That is just off Rte 495, Exit 42B and around back in the Stadium Plaza. Plenty of parking!

Please RSVP so we can plan ahead. Be part of the Savor Series March 18th with the co-op!


Savor Haverhill: Celebrate the Culture of Food

historic barn

Beautiful Fall day at the Savor Haverhill

An amazing collection of food experts were able to join us at the Savor Haverhill this year. Everyone who attended was able to meet and learn a little more about our food systems from bee keeping and composting to cheese production and apple cider.

We could not have asked for a more beautiful day on Janice’s historic farm as the setting for this special event. Board members gave farm tours and guided our guests from event to event during the afternoon.

After the official Annual Meeting wrap up of the successes and lessons of the past year, Bill Hamilton started things off with a discussion of the art and science of beekeeping. He had an enthusiastic audience ready to learn about this important piece of our ecosystem.

The giant burrito that Chef Paul from Stuft created brought the crowd over to the Tasting Corner for the first food demo. It was amazing how he wrapped so many tasty flavors into a giant burrito with both chicken and vegetarian options. Yum!

Sebastian from Roots Compost helped us keep green by showing people how we could compost at our event. We used compostable plates, napkins and sporks and Sebastian brought compost bins for the event, and also shared great information about the process of making compost.

Jim Parker came over from Willow Spring Vineyard to talk about their new rhubarb wine project. Unfortunately, no drinking was involved since the wine won’t be prepared until next year. The rhubarb is growing strong just in front of the barn and we thought it would be fun to learn why there was a huge rhubarb patch on the hillside.

Time for another food demo and back into the barn we went to see how hummus is made with the new project started this Summer at L’Arche. We got to sample a delicious sweet potato and rosemary version.

Food samples were just getting started since the aromas of Bintu’s African Samosas got our mouths watering as she taught us the steps to make them while the samples fried up nice and golden.

To cap off the learning, our own Laura stepped in to talk about the selection of local cheese donated by Mill City Cheese Mongers. Such a range of flavor, style and technique was a delicious experience.

We cannot forget the delicious cider made by participants with an old-fashioned cider press under the supervision of Hal Hutchins and his wife with apples from Fay’s Orchard and Farmer Daves. That was welcome refreshment during the afternoon. We also learned some basketweaving techniques as our experts showed their skills.

MVFC wants to express our gratitude to all those who participated in the planning, demonstrating and eating! We also want to thank Haverhill Bank and the Haverhill Cultural Council for their sponsorship support. Also a big “Thank You” to Janice Anton for allowing us to celebrate in such a beautiful, historic setting.

Almost time for Savor Haverhill

Haverhill farm on sunny Fall day

In just a few more days, the Merrimack Valley Food Co-op will be at this historic property to celebrate the 3rd Annual Meeting and debut the “Savor Haverhill: Celebrating the Culture of Food”. On Sunday, October 22, 2017 from 1-5pm, talented people from around the food culture will demonstrate their specialties. These range from brewing the perfect cup of coffee, to selecting locally made cheese and adding local flavor to the perfect burrito.

This is the first year for this unique family friendly event and a chance for everyone to learn something new about food and the benefits of having a member-owned food co-op in our community.

Special guided tours around this 1700s Haverhill farm will take place through the afternoon where you can see the collaboration with Willow Spring Vineyards and their amazing rhubarb patch. Kids can make their own “apple stamp” prints and there will be plenty of spots for the perfect “selfie” – remember to tag us with #mvfoodcoop and much more fun!

Tickets are limited, so get yours today for the Savor Haverhill. You can see all that is happening on the official Savor Haverhill 2017 Flyer.

Merrimack Valley Food Co-op is sponsoring this event with generous help from Haverhill Bank and the Haverhill Cultural Council. We thank them for their support.

Celebrate at Savor Haverhill

2017CoopMonth_InfoPost_KindnessOctober 2017 is “Commit to Co-ops” Month and we are ready to celebrate our start up food co-op. We will be holding our 3rd Annual Meeting as part of the Savor Haverhill “Culture of Food” event.

There are so many local people coming out to share what they do from growing rhubarb with Jim Parker  to secrets for the best burrito from Stuft, tips on making African samosas with local ingredients and brewing the best Fair Trade cup of coffee with Equal Exchange. You can even learn about local Cheese with the experts from Mill City Cheese Mongers.

Come by and learn how the co-op will make a difference in our community and the way we celebrate food. Kid friendly activities from pumpkin decorating and basket making to farm tours all afternoon.

Tickets available online. Get yours today!

Interested in helping before the 22nd? Join us for the final planning suggestions or sign up a couple of hours that day as a volunteer.

Easy sign up below: