What I find helps with that is to plan foods for only *5* days, not 7, because invariably something happens - we go out to eat, there's a lunch meeting, we just feel like having a (whatever).
I don't eat much bread so I keep it in the freezer, or some in the freezer, some in the fridge, so it'll stay better longer.
Onions, garlic, ginger, avocados, oranges and other citrus, melons, tomatoes, potatoes, winter squash, whole pineapple, apples and bananas will keep very well at room temperature until cut. Best if kept out of direct sunlight, but ours gets some sun during the day.
Once cut, things will start going bad faster, so cut off the smallest portion you will actually use, and then put the rest in the fridge.
For fresh herbs, make a beautiful presentation by treating them like flowers - cut 1/4" to 1/2" off the stems in running water, then put them in a glass or pitcher of water. It'll stay fresh for a VERY long time!
I also cut the ends, then wrap them with a folded, damp, paper towel, wrapped around the stems and held with rubber bands. That'll keep them fresh longer.
We also eat the more perishible fruit first - berries first, oranges later.
You might also try getting something like Debbie Meyer's Green Babs (www.GreenBags.com
) which is to help keep your produce fresh longer.
For other healthy long storing things try:
For your cupboard:
Nuts, seeds, oils, canned beans & dried beans of all kinds, rice, canned tuna, canned chicken, canned or boxed broth or stock, boxed Soy Milk in the 1 cup boxes, lentils, grains (oatmeal, quinoa, buckhweat, amarath, millet, barley), granola, fruit & veggie juice.
For your freezer:
Any kind of meat, all kinds of leftovers, bread, vegi burgers & other vegan products, frozen vegetables, frozen fruit.
When your produce is about to go bad you can:
1) freeze it - typically produce is 'happiest' if it's blanched first, then frozen. If you have a large quantity, separate them out flat on a cookie sheet, then when frozen, put them into a bag or other freezer container.
2) make them into soup. There are LOTS of recipes calling for soup, and for whatever you've got, you can turn it into soup.
3) Make a stir fry - eat what you can, then freeze your leftovers. ANYTHING can be stir fried, even lettuce!
4) Put your leftover or cooked veggies into a "to make soup" frozen container. Growing up, we used to put our leftover spoonfuls of this and that into the container. When it was full, we'd pull it out to defrost and make soup.
We'd generally always make sure we had potaoes, onions, tomatoes, and some meat/protien of some kind. We'd put in 2 bay leaves, a "pinch" of majoram, thyme and savory, salt and pepper to taste. (How much is a pinch? I honestly don't know - I grew up never actually measuring, but I'm guesstimating at least 1/2 tsp.)
If you're adding ground meat, add it right at the end, when it's cooked through, it's done. If you're using beans, grains or bigger pieces of meat, then cook them first before adding them.
And freeze your lefotver soups!
The only things I've found that don't freeze well is lettuce and other leafy greens (they come out so much different I don't like it).