Have you resolved to save money? Reducing food waste can help with your goal. Before you can eliminate food waste, you first need to figure out why you are wasting food. Analyze what you are throwing away to see if there is a way to eliminate that waste.
Reduce Food Waste By Analyzing the Problem
- Are you throwing away leftovers that went bad?
- Are you throwing away stale chips, crackers and cereals?
- Are you throwing away expired food?
If you are tossing out leftovers, there are a couple of things you can do to reduce waste:
Make less food! Seriously, you can easily halve a recipe instead of making more than you need.
Freeze your leftovers. Frozen leftovers make great “t.v. dinners” for busy nights. Just pull them out and reheat in the microwave and you have an instant dinner. This is healthier and more frugal than picking up fast food on hectic nights.
Make a resolution to eat your leftovers for lunch. When putting away leftovers, divide them up into single servings and package them in containers that fit in your lunch bag. Reheat them at work and you will save tons off eating out at lunch.
Find new ways to repurpose your leftovers. This is my favorite. I love finding new ways to use up leftovers in an “encore meal”.
If you are throwing away food that has gone stale, you can take these steps to reduce waste:
Consider buying the items in smaller packages. Smaller packages may cost more per ounce, but if it minimizes the amount of food you toss, you will still save money
Storing food in an air tight container. If it takes you a while to work through a box of cereal or crackers, store them in air tight containers to prevent them from going stale.
If you are throwing away expired food, you need to improve your storage system:
Make sure you rotate your food in the pantry. Place new items in the back and pull the older items to the front.
Rotate food in the refrigerator. Often small containers such as yogurt can get pushed to the back. Be sure to periodically check and move items that quickly expire to the front of the shelf where they can easily be found.
Create a list of frozen foods with the date they were frozen and place it on the front of your freezer. You can factor in the length of time items have been frozen when choosing what to use from the freezer.
It is estimated that the average American family throws out 40 % of the food they buy. This comes to over $2,000.00 per family, per year for food that ends up in the trash. Reducing your food waste will have a significant impact on your budget!