Fresh vegetables are usually the first to go bad and be thrown out
Learning to Cook

5 Ways to Reduce Food Waste and Save Money

You spend all that time and money on buying groceries, only to throw out perfectly good fruits and vegetables, maybe some leftovers and bread. This waste of food and your hard earned dollars can be eliminated with just a few simple strategies.

Food that goes bad because we don't consume it quickly enough can be both a money drain and frustration. Here are some tips to limit or completely eliminate the amount of food that goes to the garbage.
Food that goes bad can be both a waste of money and frustrating.

Here are the strategies to help you reduce food waste and save money:

1.Buy some veggies fresh, some frozen to never throw out rotten produce again. Since we do grocery shopping weekly, this cycle lasts about 1 week. At the beginning we start with eating fresh veggies, such as big salads and veggie sticks for snacks. Because we only buy a limited quantity, by the end of the week we finish off all of our fresh veggies, then move onto the frozen ones. Some of my favourites are green beans, mixed veggies, and spinach. I usually add these frozen veggies to a recipe instead of serving them on their own. For example, add to pasta sauces or rice. The awesome thing about frozen veggies is that if you don’t use them up in a week, they’re good to stay in the freezer for a loooong time (as long as they are properly sealed!).

2. Freeze your meats to keep them from going bad. There are 2 ways to do this. First way is for you to just freeze the meat right away after getting it from the store. The second way (and the way that I recommend) is to first cook it and then freeze. In my home we have meal prep on Mondays. I cook A LOT of food, more than my hubby and I can eat in a week. So, I take a portion of each dish and freeze it. This works great for soups too by the way!

Meal prep containers ready for the week. These help eliminate food waste by having food ready to warm up and go instead of sit in the fridge for weeks.
Meal prep containers ready for the week. These help eliminate food waste by having food ready to warm up and go instead of sit in the fridge for weeks.
We have lentil soup, pasta with two different sauces, and taco beef.

3. Meal prep so that you actually eat what you have in the fridge! You don’t necessarily need to prepare perfectly portioned meals. I guess the better word would be food prep. Do you have fruit in your fridge? Wash it, maybe cut it up and put into a container. Celery? Wash it, chop up, and put into bags. I can leave a celery stalk lying in my fridge for a whole week because I’m too lazy to go through the effort of washing and cutting it up. By preparing it in advance, you’re making it easier to consume the veggies.


Easy Meal Prep Ideas

5 Day Meal Prep Challenge

4. Take inventory regularly of food that you already have. When was the last time you looked in your fridge or pantry? Do you know what’s in there and what you can make with it? Is there just one ingredient you need to buy among the ingredients you already have to make a certain dish? I usually do this before going shopping so that I can make the best use of the ingredients I already have. To make sure that I am buying only what I need, I make sure to use a pantry list.

5. Buy only what you need to eliminate food waste. Once you have taken your inventory, plan your meals for the week so that you only buy what is necessary especially when it comes to fresh veggies (refer back to point 1 for how I always eat fresh veggies). For a more detailed explanation of how to create a shopping routine, take a look at how I do mine here.

So there you have 5 ways to help eliminate food waste in your home. If applied, these methods can help you to reduce food waste and save money.

Do you use any of these methods already? What is one thing you can do today to eliminate food waste in your home?

Hey, still there? Need a nudge to help you reduce food waste? Here are 3 tips from Mayo Clinic’s dietitian, Kate Zeratsky.

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