Everything from last week’s leftovers to mushy produce heads straight for the landfill when it’s not consumed or composted. According to the USDA, 30-40% of the food supply is wasted in the United States each year. And it doesn’t just add to landfill growth, it can also be bad for your bank account.
For example; if you spend $100 on groceries each week, there’s a good chance you’re tossing about $30-$40 worth of food into the garbage. So how do you keep those pennies in your pocket and the food in your fridge?
Here are five ways to minimize food waste, and get more bang for your buck:
1. Meal Plan
Take stock of what you already have in the pantry, and plan meals around those items. The sooner you are able to use those items up, the less likely they will be to go bad!
2. Buy only what you need
Be wary of impulse buys. Once you know what you need to purchase for meals and snacks for the week, stick to that list. Creating a digital list on your phone, or through a grocery store app, is great way to stay on track, and save paper!
3. Practice “first in, first out”
Grocery stories employ a similar tactic; when putting away your groceries, move your older items to the front of the fridge so that you are reminded to use them first.
4. Freeze it!
Won’t get to that chicken until after its expiration date? Toss it in the freezer and thaw it out when you’re ready to use it.
5. Eat leftovers
If eating leftovers for lunch isn’t really your thing, find a way to reinvent them for dinner! One of the best ways to cut back on wasted food is to mix and match leftovers with whatever you have in the fridge!
Making just a few of these changes will result in a big return. Cutting your food waste in half could save you anywhere from $700 to $1,000 per year! For more tips on reducing food waste at home, visit: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/reducing-wasted-food-home