I’m ashamed to say that I’ve thrown out way too much food just because it was forgotten about and went bad before we used it. Slowly over the years I’ve learned new tricks and I’ve been able to reduce our food waste considerably. I feel so much better about it, and were able to save a lot more money on our grocery bill. So if you’re like me and hate how much food you’ve been tossing out then this post is for you. With a little bit of planning and proper food storage you can avoid food waste too 🙂
#1 Check Your Fridge and Freezer
Scan your fridge, freezer, and cupboards before you meal plan and/or go grocery shopping. You can plan for meals around food that will go bad soon.
#2 Buy What You’ll Use
Only buy what you’re going to use. I used to buy groceries for 2 weeks at a time and would find that I wouldn’t use things and sometimes they would go bad before I would cook it. Now I only buy groceries for 1 week at a time and find that I am able to use up most of our food.
Bonus Tip: It can be great to stock up on sale items, but if half of it goes bad then it isn’t worth it. Stock up on sale nonperishable items, and hold back if you think it’ll go bad before you can use it.
#3 Pre-Chop Veggies
I also talk about this in my Meal Planning and Food Prep blog post, if you take 1 hour a week to pre-chop the veggies you are planning on using it makes cooking soooo much easier. I used to plan awesome meals for the week, but when it came time to actually cook them it would seem so daunting and I felt too tired to cook some of them. Now that I pre-chop all of my veggies it makes cooking quick and easy and uses up all of my food.
#4 Get a Bin For Almost Expired Food
Avoid food waste by putting a dollar store container towards the front of your fridge for soon to be expired food. Whenever you do your fridge check before grocery shopping move any food that’s almost expired to the bin. That way it’s front and center when you check your fridge and you’re way more likely to use it.
Related Post: How to Meal Plan and Prep Your Food For a Healthy Week
#5 Cut and Freeze Almost Bad Fruit
If you have fruit that’s close to expiring and you don’t think you’ll use it before it’ll go bad, take the time to chop it up and freeze it. It’s great for smoothies and you’ll avoid food waste #WinWin.
#6 Store Onions and Potatoes Separately
I used to store onions and potatoes together in my pantry only to get confused why they seemed to go bad faster. Turns out, when stored together it accelerates something or other and they sprout quickly #Oops. The best way to store them is to store in seperate paper bags in a cool damp place. That way they’ll last for a very long time.
#7 Wrap Your Greens in Paper Towel
Spinach and lettuce can go bad so quickly due to all of the moisture in the bag. Take the time to rinse and spin your greens, then wrap it in paper towel before placing back in the plastic bag. Switch out the paper towel when it gets very damp. If you buy prewashed spinach in the plastic bins place a paper towel on the bottom after you use a few handfuls. By taking a few minutes to do this your spinach and lettuce will last at least twice as long.
There you go, 7 tips to help you avoid food waste. If you take the time to implement even a few of them I know you’ll notice a difference and we can all waste a little less food 🙂