Food waste is a problem in this country. Tons of food goes to waste daily, and if we’re not careful, we’re going to use up all our valuable landfill space for our uneaten meals. Instead of throwing out what you don’t eat, try our tips for reducing food waste.
Shop often but in smaller doses
Each week you go to the grocery store, you usually buy what you think will feed your family and you may spend anywhere from $80 to $250. Not only is that a lot of money to spend on food, but the majority of that food will end up in the trash. Shop instead for what you need for each meal. Make smaller grocery lists and go to the grocery store more often as opposed to weekly or bi-weekly. That way, you’ll cook exactly what you need for each meal and not have to worry about food going to waste. Moreover, avoid big bulk stores because do you really need 18 litres of peanut butter?
Organize your fridge
Keep food that needs to be eaten at eye level so that when you open the fridge, you’re reminded that it’s there. This especially goes for leftovers. If you have extra food leftover from the previous night’s meal, make sure you put it where you can see it so you know to eat it the next day. If not, you’ll forget about it and it’ll go bad, forcing you to throw it out. For foods like condiments and sauces that last longer, keep them on your fridge door or towards the back of the fridge.
DIY the accoutrements
Another great way to reduce food waste is to make your own small batch salad dressings and sauces. Why buy a Greek marinade for your chicken that you’ll use once or twice when you can make your own? Salad dressings and sauces are easy to make and you probably have all the ingredients already, like lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar.
Eat it all
When you buy something, make sure you use every part of it. For instance, if you buy a rotisserie chicken, turn the leftover meat into chicken salad sandwiches and save the carcass to make broth. Look online for recipes that are tailored specifically to leftovers and using all parts of chickens, fish and meat products.
Save the date
Don’t throw out food because it’s past its expiration date. For the most part, these are guidelines made by food manufacturers to signify when the food was packaged, when it’ll reach its peak quality and when it’s okay to freeze it and eat it at a later date.
Compost! Compost! Compost!
In some cities, composting is mandatory, which helps to greatly reduce food waste. If you live in a city where it’s not required, create your own compost heap. Avoid tossing food scraps in the trash and turn them into compostables for your garden.
If you follow the aforementioned tips you’ll not only reduce waste, you’ll also save money. Think of all the fun family vacations you’ll be able to take with your extra cash. Now that’s a great reason to reduce waste!