Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Food waste is a huge problem in the United States. Every day, food is wasted not only in restaurants but also at home. Reduce food waste in your home and make your food (and money) go further with these simple tips for reducing food waste.
Quick Tips For Reducing Food Waste In Your Home
I don’t know about you, but I get so frustrated when I have to toss out a container of food. We are a family of four this should not have happened. Somehow I am standing in front of the garbage disposal doing what I hate most. Throwing out food.
We are all trying to be smart shoppers and run frugal households, but do you think about how much food most of us waste every day? Food waste is a huge issue for most families, including mine.
I know we are all guilty of wasting food but I don’t think most of us know just how much we are wasting. It’s a huge problem, especially in the US and it’s wasting all of us a lot of money.
I would like to guess I’m not the only one who’s has found rotting, moldy cheese and vegetables in my fridge. Have you ever pulled that crisper drawer out to find your lettuce is no longer edible?
Raise your hand if you’ve gone into your pantry looking for something only to find all kinds of stuff you had forgotten about?
As I have already mentioned food waste really a big problem in this country and yet we also have an abundance of people who suffer from food insecurity. I’m sure this doesn’t shock you at all. After all, we have all been there, done that. But I want to stop the cycle of waste. Why do you say? Every time we have to through food out we are actually just throwing our money in the trash.
According to the EPA;
“About 95 percent of the food we throw away ends up in landfills or combustion facilities. In 2014, we disposed of more than 38 million tons of food waste”
Are you ready to stop the waste? We all have a part to play in saving food. Let’s do it.
Ways to Reduce Food Waste In Your Home
In the US, 30-40% of the food supply is wasted. That’s more than 20 pounds of food per person, per month. That percentage is too large.
I know for me I also feel guilty knowing how many people are going hungry in the United States. I try to be super diligent about our food. Not only will these solutions to prevent food waste keep organic matter out of the landfills and trash piles, but they will stretch your food budget further.
Plan In Advance
A larger portion of food waste happens because we purchase more than we need. Let’s stop food waste in its tracks buy only purchasing what we will actually eat.
You probably already plan your grocery shopping trips, but try to be extra diligent. Plan out your meals and only buy the fresh food you need to make those meals. Even if fresh produce is on sale, and you don’t use it up then you will end up throwing it away.
But remember to ALWAYS shop in your refrigerator first! I created this list of food pantry items you should always have on hand. Many of these items have a very long shelf life. And you will be happy to know that you can use them when you need them.
Try to stock your refrigerator with older items in the front, so they get used up first. If something has been on the front shelf and not consumed, maybe it is time to freeze it. Organize your freezer the same way if you can, and you will be more likely to consume food items that need to be used up first.
Clean out your pantry regularly. The first in and first out stocking strategy is still a good idea, but as you clean the pantry check the product’s expiration dates. If something will expire soon, try to make a plan to use it for an upcoming meal.
If boxed items in your pantry get stale before they are used up, then invest in some reusable and resealable containers that preserve freshness.
Use Up Leftovers
Have a ‘whatever’ dinner night. Choose one night a week to use up leftovers, or make a meal out of the remnants. Let everyone in the family pick what they want to eat, but make their choice from the leftovers or need to be used up food.
Find new ways to use up a product that is wilting or soft. Many veggies can be frozen to use later for soup stock, and overripe fruit is great for nutritious smoothies.
Here is a great article on creative uses for leftovers.
Put Your Food Waste to Work
Instead of throwing away your food scraps, compost them. This way you are giving nutrients back to the soil and reducing your carbon footprint. I like to keep a small compost bin on my countertop until I get a chance to move it to my big one outside.
Share or Donate
Share with others. If you have a recipe that is better doubled, then share it with a friend or neighbor. Do the same or donate to your local food bank if your garden is overabundant this year.
It just takes a little effort and planning to reduce food waste in your household. You will save money and can feel good about not throwing good food in the trash.
Reduce The Food Waste – Challenge
I challenge you to pay attention to how much food you are most likely wasting. I bet you will be surprised and will have you thinking twice about your choices. Meal planning is a great way to narrow down your food spending and organize your meals.
The good news is if you have a lot of food waste you have a lot of room for improvement. This means you can save more money. That is a big Bonus!!!