These 12 Ways to prevent food waste will save you money. How much money depends on which foods you are tossing in the trash can at the end of the week. I know in my household, there have been times when I have thrown away $20 – $30 worth of food in a week.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, roughly between 30 to 40 percent of the food supply in America is wasted. That is a pretty staggering statistic. To me, throwing food away is like throwing money away. So many of us are on a budget and we are working hard to make every penny go as far as it can, why would we toss our hard earned money in the garbage can?
Food is typically the third largest expense in peoples budgets. We all know there are many ways to cut spending – use coupons, create a menu, watch sales papers, don’t shop when hungry are just a few. Did you realize that cutting food waste will save you money?
Here are 12 ways to minimize food waste in your kitchen.
- Before you go shopping make sure you have a menu plan and a grocery list to go with it. Look through your refrigerator and your cupboards to see what items you already have. This prevents unexpected duplicate purchases.
- At the grocery store, buy only what you need. If a recipe calls for two carrots, see if you can buy that amount and no more.
- After you go grocery shopping, make an effort to use the items with the shortest shelf life first. Rotate your foods – put the new yogurt (or what ever) you just bought in the back of the refrigerator and move the older food to the front so it gets eaten first.
- When you have celery, carrots, onion pieces left over, toss them in a freezer bag and freeze them for the next time you make stock.
- Store foods properly in both the refrigerator and freezer. Read my post on the freezer life of leftovers .
- Set a day every week/month to read the expiration dates and plan a meal using those item.
- Practice food control. If you have small children, dish up their food for them. You know they won’t have a lot of food left on their plate. It also helps to reduce dishes!
- Have a “leftover” night. Make if fun, set the table like a buffet and let family members pick and choose what they want to eat.
- Fruits that are just about to go bad can be placed in the blender and made into a smoothie.
- If you have bread that is almost expired, make croutons or bread crumbs. I freeze these for later use
- Use your leftovers. Chicken can be made into salads, used for sandwiches and used for casseroles. Vegetables can be used in a quiche, salad, soup, or pot pie.
- Compost any food scraps that you can’t use. They are great for your garden.
What do you think of my list? Do you think you can incorporate some of these ideas into your daily life? I would love to hear your ideas on food waste.
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