Today we are getting back to the word reduce by reducing food waste. Last week I strayed a bit and explained why you should encourage wildlife into your garden. This was because of squirrel appreciation day. Did I mention that before? I think, I forgot. Ups…
How to Reduce Food Waste in Your Home
Did you know that worldwide we waste about 1.3 billion tonnes of food every year?!?
Start reducing your food waste for the good of our environment and for your own pocket as you will be saving money at the same time. There are many ways you can cut down on food waste that happens in your home. Here are a few things to think about:
Think Twice about What You Buy
When you are at the grocery store, don’t just pick up whatever looks good. If something is jumping out at you, put it on your grocery list and decide whether you will actually buy it the next time you are in the store. This will save money immediately, and will be a good reminder that a person often doesn’t even really want or use many of the items they buy.
Plus, never go shopping hungry! You will only buy much more food that won´t get eaten. When you go shopping not being hungry, then your grocery list will come in handy. I know that I forget half of what I wanted to buy when I go shopping full up and forget my list…
Make Meal Plans
At the beginning of each week or on the weekend, create meal plans for you and your family. Make a grocery list based off these meals plans. This will keep you focused on purchasing necessities rather than frivolous items.
Now, I never liked meal plans because my days are always different. Some days I might have a lot of time to cook and other days I don´t, but I never know beforehand. A way to get around this problem: plan 2 meals using roughly the same ingredients. As example: plan to make lasagna and if you then don´t have the time, then just make spaghetti Bolognese. This works really well for me.
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If you haven´t found a good meal planner yet, I can only recommend the one I am using. Here is the link to the free download.
Use a Shopping List
I know, I mentioned the shopping list before and it is vital to reducing food waste. Make a shopping list and take it to the store with you. Stick to this list at all times. Do not deviate or be tempted by purchases that are last-minute temptations. If it’s not on the list, it’s a “no.”
Cook a Little Less Than Needed
Often we cook more than our family or friends will end up eating when we serve them a meal. We are afraid it will look tacky if people are still hungry and the food is gone. This is a quick road to major food waste, as people eat more than they need if there is excessive food.
There is nothing wrong with having just enough to feed everyone, and then moving on to the next course. This way, everyone leaves a bit of room in their stomachs, saving indigestion and future leftovers that may never get pulled out of the fridge and eaten.
Eat Leftovers at Another Meal
If you do end up with leftovers, then by all means, eat them. In your meal planning, schedule in at least two meals a week for leftovers. Plan them to happen at separate times during the week so that all leftovers will be used and enjoyed at some point.
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I sometimes even cook certain things like pasta or potatoes more to be able to make a nice leftover dish the next day…
Buy Smaller Portions
Often fresh fruits and vegetables get purchased and then go bad after sitting too long in the fridge. To solve this problem, buy less of the items that spoil quickly. You may love oranges, but instead of buying a whole bag, buy half a bag. Or instead of buying five grapefruits, buy two. You might have to get groceries more often, but if you are scheduling two trips to the grocery store per week this shouldn’t be a problem.
Don´t bulk buy!
I know many other blogs recommend you to bulk buy and shops are encouraging it by offering 3 for 2 deals. But, only buy those deals and only bulk buy if you will really use it all! Otherwise you are producing more instead of reducing food waste.
Reducing food waste is one of the biggest ways we can save money in our homes. It doesn’t take a lot of planning to save a reasonable amount of money. By looking through this list, you are sure to find at least a few ways you can personally cut down on your food waste. This will save you a lot of money, and enables you to look after our environment at the same time.
I hope I have given you some good ideas on reducing food waste. And if you start, let me know how you are getting on 🙂
Do you want to know what else I offer? Then check out my Let´s start a Greener Life Together page
You might also enjoy reading: Saving electricity to reduce your carbon footprint, Saving water to start protecting the environment, 25 ways to protect the environment on a budget, 10 good reasons to start going green, How to teach your kids the importance of green living, and Green living & feeling guilty.
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