Skip to main content

Save money and avoid food waste: This site finds family dinner ideas using what you already have

This website helps eliminate food waste by creating meals from ingredients your kids love

Nothing is more frustrating than throwing away food because you didn’t prepare it before it expired. With the increased cost of groceries, not only is this wasteful but it can get expensive, too. According to Feeding America, approximately 119 billion pounds of food is wasted in the U.S. each year, with 39% of that total coming from homes across the country.

Not everyone has the ability to plan their meals and shop for specific groceries every week, which often leads to food waste, especially if your schedule only allows for one big grocery order every week or two. A new website is offering some hope for families that struggle with finding recipes and family dinner ideas that not only will their kids love, but this site also helps combat food waste.

Busy family schedule hanging on a refrigerator
Image used with permission by copyright holder


Reddit user jda5x recently posted their new website, Gumbo, to the Food Hacks forum explaining that “it’s a website that helps home cooks find recipes that use the ingredients they already have at home.” The site, which is free to use and doesn’t have any of those pesky pop-ups or ads that can make navigating a site frustrating, allows you to enter the ingredients you already have on hand and delivers a variety of different recipes.

Chicken and vegetables
Image used with permission by copyright holder


Jda5X explains their reasoning for creating Gumbo was due to their love of cooking and desire to see less food waste and to be able to use those leftovers. Many families end up hitting the drive-thru on busy nights instead of cooking at home simply because they are in a time crunch and they need something easy and fast.

Not only does Gumbo allow you to search for recipes by ingredients you already have on hand, but you can also specify certain dietary restrictions, how long you want to spend preparing your dish, and whether you’re looking for a breakfast dish, main course, dessert, or appetizer.

Veggies in a grocery bag
Gino Santa Maria / Shutterstock

Save money and food waste

Gumbo can help you create family-favorite recipes and come up with family dinner ideas with food items already in your home, and it can help you save money at the grocery store. One Redditor noted that “this is a great way to save money on groceries by only shopping sales and building meals afterward!”

For families who shop on a budget, being able to search for recipes based on items on hand or those on sale that week at the grocery store, versus buying ingredients to create a specific recipe, can be a huge money saver. Others were surprised at the variety of recipe options they received that they may not have thought of before.

If you’ve been frustrated by the amount of food you’ve been throwing out or are simply looking for a bit of mealtime inspiration your family will love, without having to run to the grocery store for added ingredients, make sure to check out Gumbo.

Editors' Recommendations

Kelli Catana
Kelli is a freelance writer who has covered the world of entertainment, pop culture, parenting, and lifestyle for various…
Transform a boring meal with these inventive but cheap ramen noodle recipes
Rediscover ramen noodles with these delicious and easy recipes
Ramen noodles in a bowl ready to eat

Feeding a family is getting pretty pricey these days. Food prices have been turning heads for what seems like ages now. So, it's not a surprise that families are budget conscious when it comes to planning meals and grocery shopping. If you're on the lookout for cost-effective meal options next time you're pushing the shopping cart down the aisles, don't pass by the ramen noodles. Ramen noodles are definitely cheap.

A 24-pack of ramen noodles costs $6.95 on Amazon, which is a little over 32 cents a package. That's a huge bargain as college students and 20-somethings know. Well, it turns out, ramen noodles have a long history and not just on university campuses and in the kitchen of first apartments. These yummy noodles are a favorite and not just because they're inexpensive, too. So where did ramen noodles originate from?

Read more
9 amazing sweet potato baby food combinations your child will love
Food combos to switch up the boring meals
Baby with sweet potatoes

It's always an exciting time when your baby can start eating solid foods. Most doctors recommend waiting until baby is six months old before starting. Once you get the OK from your pediatrician, your little one is ready to start on solid foods -- a whole new world opens up for them (and you).

Sweet potatoes are a perfect first food for your baby to try. They’re inexpensive, easy to cook, and mash up well. They’re on the sweeter side, so most babies take a liking to sweet potatoes over other veggies. More importantly, sweet potatoes are filled with Vitamin C, potassium, beta-carotene, and fiber your baby needs as they grow and develop.

Read more
Should I wake baby from a long nap? 4 times it’s OK
Know when to cut your baby's nap short and other times your tot need to be woken up
Dad holding baby in the nursery.

If you’re a new parent, you know sleep is so extremely precious. In some cases, you could be only sleeping when your baby sleeps (if that), making that time all the more valuable. But if you’re finding your baby’s sleep schedule is pretty erratic, and more frequent and longer naps are hurting your routine more than helping it (like if those late-afternoon naps are resulting in later nights), you may feel tempted to wake up your napping baby. Should you though? Are you asking yourself, "Should I wake Baby from long naps?"

Are you facing doubts on whether you actually should wake a napping tot? Turns out, the myth you should never wake a sleeping baby is just that, a myth. There are actually several instances when you should definitely wake that little snoozer. Here’s when and why waking a baby from a long nap is something a parent might have to do every so often.

Read more