Did you know that 40% of all food produced in the world is wasted That equates to a massive $1 trillion worth of food every year. The reality is, we waste tons of money and resources when it comes to our food production- but there are a lot of ways you can reduce your own personal contribution by following these tips!
How to reduce food waste:
Plan Your Meals
It’s always a good idea to have an agenda when you’re shopping, but it can be especially important if you know what recipes will make up for your weekly dinners. By checking the grocery store flyers and having everything on hand before heading out of the door, we’ll all save time and money in our kitchens. You’ll also be less likely to throw things out that you bought on a whim and didn’t end up using before the due date.
A freezer is a great way to save all the healthy stuff you get from farmers’ markets or your friend’s garden. You can use it for meal prep, stews, and even making soup at home!
Cook the Right Serving Amounts
If you’re cooking for two, consider cutting the recipe in half to avoid wasting your time with leftovers. Alternatively, plan ahead and save some of those homemade TV dinners!
Buy the Wonky Veggies
You’re in luck because sometimes, supermarkets discard produce. Do yourself a favour and give your grocer the once over to see when they sell strange-shaped or ugly fruits and vegetables- you may be able to save some cash while helping reduce food waste! Tesco have wonky veg, as do other of the most popular supermarkets.
Rotate your food
As you put food away, make sure to use the old items before using the new ones. For shelf-stable foods like mayonnaise that are not refrigerated until opening them, keep out of the fridge and consume within a week’s time so they don’t spoil!
Have a Leftover Day
The idea of a leftovers night is genius. There are so many tasty dishes that you can enjoy even just with what’s leftover from the week before, and cooking all those delicious meals at once will give you more time to spend on other things! We love to chop veggies and fry them in a pan and serve with pasta or rice!
Conduct Inventory Regularly
You’ll save money and time by making a list of your favourite dishes, noting what ingredients are needed for each dish. Next, go through the refrigerator or pantry so you don’t miss anything!
Before shopping today it might be good to take inventory of all that’s in your fridge/pantry. That way if something is missing from this week’s meal plan then you can quickly grab them while grocery shopping instead of forgetting about it at home!
We did this a few weeks ago and we had lots of tinned products and sauces that we could use, we just needed a few bits of veg to make complete meals.
Use Scraps Wisely
A good way to reduce your waste is by composting food scraps. If you do not have a backyard, there are still options for reducing the amount of trash that goes into landfills like making broth with your leftover vegetable scraps or using it as fertilizer
There are lots of options such as turning them into compost and using them as fertiliser. A great start on leaving less garbage at home would be recycling an old pot or bucket so you could use this instead of throwing out aluminium foil, plastic wrap, paper towels, etc when preparing meals
Learn Proper Storage Techniques
There is a right way and a wrong place to store each item that you purchase. Get the most use out of what you buy by being informed about how your items should be stored correctly from day one so they don’t get ruined before their time!
Preserve Your Own
You might think that cabbage is only for salads. But have you tried making it into sauerkraut? It is a great way to preserve and make the most of vegetables before they expire! You can preserve, can, or pickle lots of different foods to extend their shelf life and make new and interesting dishes with them.
Eat Expired Food
It’s not uncommon for fresh food to be good well past the date it was made. A lot of people don’t know this, but most expiration dates are more about when stores need to sell by than any sort of safety warning.
Many foods indeed have an “expiration” or a “sell-by” date on their packaging and cans; however, these labels refer specifically to retailers who must remove them from shelves if they remain unsold after some prearranged amount of time has passed. What few realize is that just because something expires doesn’t mean you should throw out your groceries! Most canned goods will keep safely in storage at cool temperatures until as long as 7 days after their original sale day.
We often eat tomatoes, peppers and humous out of date. Stay clear of doing this with meat, fish or dairy though!
Managing food waste
With a little planning and thought, you can eliminate most food waste. If somehow you end up with extras due to too many sales or something else then just donate it!
How do you reduce food waste?