7 Ways To Reduce Food Waste Today

The not-so-pretty truth is – Americans waste a lot of food. The other not-so-great truth is that in addition to adversely affecting the planet, food waste also has a negative impact on your grocery bill.

What do you do to help curb food waste? Is there a good truth to be found?

Yes! The super-good truth is there are many easy ways to put an end to food waste in your home. Get started with these seven tips and you’ll be saying hello to extra money in your budget and good-bye to food-wasting habits!

7 Ways To Reduce Food Waste Today


1. List the leftovers.

Put a magnetic pad on your refrigerator. When you put a leftover in, note the item, date, and, if you’re using opaque containers, note that too. (“Green beans, 2/16/10, cottage cheese container.”) The list will look right at you when you go to browse for your next meal or snack, even if the leftovers end up out of sight in the back of the fridge.

2. Freeze your foods.

If you buy in bulk, buy those food items that can be frozen. Freeze refrigerated leftovers after 5 days.

3. Discover some creative uses for your leftovers.

Shepherd’s pie, vegetable soup, and casseroles are just some of the creative ways you can use your leftovers. Whiz stale (but not moldy) bread in the blender to make bread crumbs, which you can freeze if you do not need them right away. Stale bread can also become homemade croutons or melba toast. Leftover meat can be incorporated into chicken salad or soups and stews.  Looking for recipe ideas, we have plenty – you’ll find them under the NOURISH tab.

4. Store refrigerated foods in the right places.

The back of your refrigerator is colder than the front, and the door shelves are warmer still. Relegate dairy foods that are prone to spoilage to the back of the fridge, and keep items such as condiments and salad dressings toward the front or in the door. Check out tips to Keep Your Refrigerator Organized with Four Simple Tricks. 

5. When it’s too late, compost your spoiled food.

Then you can use the compost to grow more fresh food! For more information, read Sustainable Homestead: Indoor Composting

6. Skip the fruit bowl whenever possible and refrigerate fresh fruits.

Some foods, such as tomatoes, do not do well under refrigeration so they should be consumed within a few days of purchase. But apples, oranges, grapefruits, and lemons last much longer in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

7. Plan your grocery shopping and meals carefully to avoid waste.

And don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry! Save your hunger for those leftovers.

For more tips and ideas, check out these additional resources:

Every little step you take can ultimately make a big impact over time.  All you need to do is start cutting down on your food waste today!

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Tags: eco, food, green living, sustainable living
Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, when she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s making tea and writing about country living and artisan culture.
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