Reducing Food Waste

inside of a refrigerator with foodEver ask yourself “I wonder how long that has been in the fridge”? If you can’t remember when you made the meal, then it is time to throw the leftovers out. After a while, this food waste gets discouraging.

When we throw food out we not only increase the amount of trash we build up on our planet but we are throwing our money away.

Think of it this way… you make a meal and it costs $8 and makes eight servings. Your family eats four servings the night you make the meal, and you eat it for lunch the next two days. You end up throwing away two servings that each cost $1. If you did that every week for a year, you would end up throwing away $104. I can think of a ton of things I would buy for $104. Can’t you?

So how can we limit how much food (and money) we throw in the trash?

  1. Meal plan and bring a grocery list so you only buy what you need. Be sure to check out our tips for meal planning and our example plans with grocery lists!
  2. Stay organized. Follow the idea of “first in, first out.” When you are putting away your groceries, be sure to put the new items in the back and move the older items to the front. This will let you see the items and use those first. No one likes opening a bottle of ketchup only to find out there was another bottle already open in the back of the refrigerator.
  3. Make one night a week the “clean out the fridge night.” This has been a great success at my house. Everyone gets to choose what they want to eat that night based on what there is for leftovers. Sometimes there isn’t much so we have to use a few things from the pantry. For example, when I have vegetables that are on their way out, I chop everything up, make some whole grain brown rice and we have “Everything but the kitchen sink fried rice.” I really love this night because after dinner the fridge is almost empty making it a great time to give it a quick wipe down.

How does your family save money by wasting less food?

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