In the United States alone, it is estimated that over 80 billion pounds of food is thrown away each year. This number is equivalent to the average American family throwing out about $1,600 each year. However, there are some steps that you can take to help lessen food waste and save money. Here are some ways that you can reduce food waste at home.
BUY ONLY WHAT YOU NEED
Meal planning and making lists can help make sure you don’t purchase extra food that will go to waste. Before going to the store, take a look at your list and compare it to what you already have to avoid purchasing a duplicate.
STORE FOOD PROPERLY
Storing your food properly will help it last longer and reduce the chances of you needing to throw it away. Keeping your fridge clean and organized as possible will allow you to keep track of what you have available. As much as possible, keep newer items in the back and older items in the front so you won’t forget about that yogurt behind the eggs.
Schedule leftover nights once a week where everything in the fridge is up for grabs. Not only will this help reduce what you throw away, but it will give the cook in your family a much-needed night off.
USE YOUR FREEZER
If you happen across a great deal, such as a meat sale, while out shopping. Don’t feel like you have to pass up on it just because it’s not in your meal plan. However, make sure you put it right in the freezer when you get home and plan on having it the next week. Besides meat, several food items store well in the freezer, which will allow you more time to use them.
Just because an item is past it’s ‘sell by’ doesn’t mean you can’t eat it anymore. Before throwing it away, run a quick google search to see if it’s truly not safe to consume. Run audits on your storage room every few months to find what may be close to expiring and plan some of your meals around that.