How can we reduce food waste at home? Keeping food out of the trash is not complicated and you can get started reducing your food waste at home today.
We’ve all wasted food at some point, but that doesn’t make it right.
In a perfect world when you do something you don’t like or admire, you change it.
That’s what you’re setting out to do now: stop wasting food because you don’t want to continue doing it.
“America throws out more than 1,250 calories per day per person or more than 400 pounds of food per person annually.“ And at the same time, millions of Americans don’t have enough food to eat each day. The numbers are alarming but we can take action right now to preserve resources, save money, and contribute less waste to landfills. And it all starts in our homes.
Are vegetables melting in your crisper drawer? Is yogurt becoming hairy before you finish it all? Or are you throwing away leftovers? Becoming aware of the specific food you’re wasting is half the battle in reducing food waste at home.
The more you think about and prioritize reducing food waste the more success you’ll have.
Here are 6 ways you can reduce food waste in your home.
How can we reduce food waste at home?
I know a lot of people don’t like to eat leftovers but it’s a crucial step to waste less food. For inspiration, check out this post for a few ways you can transform your leftovers.
Or you can do what I do and have one night per week designated as leftover night. I set up all the leftovers like a buffet and everyone takes what they want.
Once we eat leftovers from the week it’s time to start cooking new meals that will show up at the next leftover night. Leftover night clears out the fridge and is great for market research.
During dinner make note of which meals each person likes most and add those to your meal plan.
PORTION AND FREEZE
Have you ever bought a large amount of something and didn’t eat it all before it went bad? If you suspect you won’t eat something quickly enough, freeze it.
Unless an item has a high water content it should freeze just fine. Sometimes you may sacrifice texture when you freeze food but that’s a small price to pay to avoid wasting it all together.
Freeze bread, tortillas, cheese, meat, fruit, vegetables, and so on. Check out this site if you have questions about freezing specific foods.
This might sound strange but giving food away to friends and family is such a better alternative than throwing away food.
I know every mom reading this has bought a snack for their kids that they didn’t like. Now, what are you supposed to do with a huge Costco sized bag of Veggie Straws? Give them to a friend. Maybe her kids LOVE Veggie Straws and she just ran out.
This tip is also great for the receiver because they get the opportunity to try new foods without spending money.
Your mom will never know she loves that peach salsa your kids hated if you don’t pass it on to her.
Most household food waste is fruits and vegetables but only a small percentage gets composted. Even if you don’t compost, save your food scraps and give them to someone who does.
Contact farms that accept food scraps for their animals or offer the scraps to a community garden. Keep a vegetable scraps bag in your freezer and fill it up as needed. Once it’s filled contact your source, drop it off, and start all over again.
Farmers in my area always ask for pumpkins around Halloween time for their animals.
What a fun adventure to bring the kids on! If you are interested in composting at home check out this in-depth guide: Composting at Home
Meal planning will encourage you to buy what you need for the week which is the true key to limiting your food waste. You can’t waste what you don’t buy.
Meal planning will firm up your week so you don’t dread dinner time, and it will allow you to buy what you need so fewer items end up in the trash.
Whenever I have milk that is going to expire soon I make rice pudding or chocolate pudding. If I have vegetables to use up, I’ll roast them all together with salt and pepper.
If the cheese has been sitting in the fridge for too long I’ll make cheesy cauliflower rice. Come up with backup recipes you can prepare if certain items are nearing their expiration date to avoid wasting them.
You’ll be prepared the next time something is about to expire.