Reduce Food Waste

Learning how to reduce food waste begins with looking at what you buy...and compare it with what you really eat. Pay attention to the food that goes bad in the pantry or in the refrigerator. And pay attention to what is left on the plates (slightly smaller portions might help in the health department too!)

Once you understand where your food waste is coming from, you can plan your grocery shopping to reduce the waste, and save some money. Americans throw away about 40% of the food that is produced - so set a goal. Plan to reduce your grocery bill by 20% for starters. With good planning, you can eat just as well with 20% less coming into your household.

Tips to Reduce Food Waste

Buy the right size. A double pack of bread might be cheaper - but if you only eat a loaf and a half before it goes bad you haven't saved any money and wasted 25%

Pay close attention to expiration dates. If you go through a gallon of milk in 4 days, and it expires in 3, you'll end up wasting 25%. And check it before you throw it is probably good for an extra day or 2.

Organize your pantry and refrigerator. A lot of food is wasted and thrown away simply because it couldn't be found...until it is too late. While you're at it, every time you stock your pantry, move the older food to the front and put the new items behind.

Use your leftovers. This takes just a little planning. If you cook a turkey or roast, slice some of it thin for sandwiches...and wrap it separately so it's easy to use. There are many creative recipes available for they don't always have to taste and look like leftovers. And a great meal enjoyed a second time is a wonderful timesaver.

Put smaller portions on the plate. You can always go back for seconds. The leftovers in the kitchen are easier to use than what's left on the plate!

Buy what you like to eat. Many supermarkets have samples available on the weekends...that's a great way to try something new without the risk of waste.

And don't shop on an empty stomach. You'll end up buying food that you don't really need. Stick to your list.

Food waste is a major issue in the United States. We devote an enormous amount of resources to produce food that ends up thrown away. By reducing your own personal food waste, you will not only save a significant amount of money, you will have a great impact on improving our planet, conserving natural resources, and promoting green living.

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