Food waste is a big deal. So big in fact that the average person wastes 400lbs of food every single year. This can amount to up to $1,800 lost annually due to all of that waste food. No bueno.
As far as we're concerned, every day is Earth Day, and every month is Earth Month. Since everything we do here at So Good So You is "For the Love of Body and Planet," we wanted to give you some easy tips you can use regularly to reduce food waste in your home.
1. PLAN YOUR SHOPPING TRIPS AHEAD OF TIME
One of the best ways to get the most out of your food and reduce food waste is to make sure you're walking into the grocery store knowing exactly what you need to get!
Spending the time to plan your meals for the week before you go shopping will keep you on track and allow you to buy only exactly what you need to keep your food waste down.
This will also help you save money, as you're less likely to be distracted by some of the more expensive items that you wouldn't necessarily need for the meals you've planned.
In the process of planning your shopping trip, make sure you look in the fridge, freezer, and cupboards to make sure you don't already have some of the ingredients you were going to add to the list.
Once you're at the store, don't feel like you are missing out if you pass on a "buy one get one" deal. These deals will only truly save you money if you're able to use all of that food before it spoils. You may also notice that a lot of grocery stores still offer the lower price if you simply buy one item.
2. REPURPOSE YOUR INGREDIENTS
If you are thinking about throwing away small amounts of certain ingredients that you may not have use for anymore, you may be able to repurpose them in a number of different dishes.
- Start putting your individual ingredients into airtight containers and freezing them until you have enough to throw into a pot for things like soup, casserole, stir fry and more!
- Things like rice, beans, cheese, and avocado can be repurposed for a burrito, while you can repurpose tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese for a nice sandwich to reduce food waste. Not only will this save you money, but it'll also be so much easier to simply grab however much you need for what your recipe calls for.
And if you're not sure what to make, SuperCook will help you find recipes based on the ingredients you have at your disposal!
3. DONATE TO FOOD BANKS
It's fair to say that you're probably not going to find a use for everything in your kitchen, and that's fine! But the fact is that food is the number one thing in America's landfills.
If you find that you're not going to use an item you've purchased from the store, one of the best things you can do is donate it to your local food bank!
Of course, food banks can't accept everything, and there are certain things you can't take, but as long as it's within the sell-by date, your local food bank is likely looking for things like:
- Canned fruit & vegetables
- Peanut butter
- Canned meats
- Cooking oils
- Apple sauce
Things to avoid when donating to a food bank:
- Baked goods (cookies, pastries, etc)
- Sugary drinks
- Anything in a glass jar
4. DE-CLUTTER YOUR KITCHEN
Having a well-stocked fridge is one of the best feelings ever. Having an over-stocked fridge can be a little mind-numbing.
We've all been in a situation where our fridge is too full, or simply not organized. This leads to a lot of things being pushed to the back and forgotten about until way past their sell-by date.
Once every couple of weeks, a great chore is to de-clutter and fully organize your fridge based on which items will go back sooner, and which items you'll need for which recipes.
You will feel So Good after doing this and it'll also ensure that you get the most use out of every item in your fridge so you can reduce food waste in the process.
When you're in the process of de-cluttering, if you find something that doesn't fit into your meals list, throw it in the freezer for another time.
5. BLEND IT UP
Smoothies are an all-time favorite way of ours to reduce food waste, but there are so many other benefits of drinking them!
First off, if you make a smoothie in the morning, you're basically getting 3-5 servings of fruits and veggies out of the way before you've even checked your emails.
Ingredients like spinach (which have a neutral flavor) can be snuck in as an amazing addition to get some superfoods into your diet too.
But overall you will be saving so much time, energy and money by putting them to good use in your blender as opposed to your trash can.
Struggling to find a good smoothie recipe? Don't worry - we got you.
And that's that! By using these tips to reduce food waste you will not only get the most use out of your food, but you may also help someone in need by donating some, and also feel mentally refreshed by getting your fridge organized and ready for the week.
Let us know below if you use certain tips and tricks to reduce food waste in your own home!