This Post may contain Affiliate Links. Please read our Disclosure for legal jargon.
Which food have you thrown out recently? Maybe some moldy bread, some rotten greens or a bit of leftover pasta? If you don’t remember throwing out any food recently, you are doing better than most of the people out there. Apart from your wasted money, there are many other costs associated with your wasted food like energy, water, etc. used to produce food. More often food that is wasted ends up in a landfill and it decomposes leading to release of greenhouse gases which impact our climate negatively.
There’s a lot of tricks you can incorporate to reduce food waste and save money in your home as well as at the store.
1. MAKE WAY TO FREEZER
Fruit that is soft or mushy often has the best flavor and works well in baked items although it might not taste great on eating right away. If you can’t use overripe food before it rots, chop it and put it in a freezer bag to freeze, so you can use it later in baked items.
Almost every food can be frozen, even milk but don’t use frozen thawed milk for drinking as some fat separation occurs, but you can use it for baking and cooking. So, next time when you have those overripe strawberries, don’t throw them just freeze them and reduce food waste.
2. COOK EVERYTHING
Many people think that they can’t use parts like stems, leaves, stalks etc? If you think the same way, think again. If you are eating only florets of a cauliflower or a broccoli, you are throwing a lot of good and nutritious food in the trash. You can add the stalks in whatever dish you are using florets in, if not then you can use them to make slaw or sauce.
There are many fruits and veggies whose peels are perfectly edible like apple and is also a valuable part of the fruit with respect to its nutritional content. Even you can use citrus peels in baked goods, marinades or even in a cup of tea, just dry the peel (remove the bitter white part) and store in an airtight jar.
3. DON’T HATE LEFTOVERS
That’s obvious, that you are likely to save half a pot of soup or curry when it’s leftover(easy lunch next day), but what if an only single serving is left. Don’t throw’ em in the trash, you can use them to make a new dish. For example, combine leftover rice and add some veggies and beans to make veggie fried rice in 5 mins.
There are many cooking shows and blogs that can help you make a new dish using leftovers if you are looking for ideas for making a new dish from leftovers.
4. KNOW THE CORRECT STORAGE
Grocery stores, distributors are really efficient at food storage as they can carefully control factors like temperature and humidity which is not fully possible at home. So, always consider buying fresh produce but in smaller quantities unless you live very far off from grocery store.
Many people think refrigerator as the right place for storing all perishable food, but that’s not true for all foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits which do better at room temperature. So, you can reduce food waste if you know the proper storage of food.
5. DON’T WASH RIGHT-AWAY
Sometimes people wash all of their fresh produce as soon as they get home. Doing that removes any protective coating that may have been on produce and water-logs it. So, food spoils faster than if you had washed it right before use. So, always wash your food just before use as it may increase shelf-life of food.
6. BE A WISE PURCHASER
We always think we are going to do better than we actually do. For instance, we may buy a larger pack of some food because it may cost less per pound but we end up wasting some since it’s more than what we require or don’t store them for reuse. We must be very careful in buying certain food items in large quantities unless we know what we’re going to do with all of what you are buying. This will save a lot of your money as well as the cost to produce that food as it won’t go waste.
7.BE UPDATED WITH YOUR INVENTORY
Pay attention to your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer and plan to use closest to deteriorating food first. Always check your inventory(viz. your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer) before you go shopping, so you don’t end up buying things which you don’t require. You can also put a label and date on the food so you know what you have, making it easier to check out on above things.
8. CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
We like to have more food in our plate, more options, and pretty-looking produce. People have picked this idea that more is better and always see value in more. Do you know what this can lead to? This can lead to a lot of waste in supermarkets, at restaurants and also at home. If we change our habit as consumers, it can go a long way toward reducing food waste as well as saving money on food.
It’s not like most of us are throwing out hundreds of pounds of food all at once. It’s all the little things we throw out here and there that add up to a lot. After all, every effort makes a difference.
Now we hope you are doing your bit to reduce food waste, but if there is something you want to share, email us or let us know in the comments below! We’d be glad to hear from you.