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Many people want to know how to stop wasting food and hopefully this article will point you in the right directions and once you’ve reduced the amount of food waste in your home, you can start saving money on your grocery bills.
Are you tired of throwing away spoiled fruits, veggies and leftovers? Do you cringe every time you open your fridge because it’s filled with nothing but old food and condensation? If so, you’re not alone. Self-proclaimed “foodie culture” has turned us into a generation that takes photos of our meals before even tasting them. And while this may seem like a blessing at first, it has also led to an epidemic of wasted food in homes all over the world. From leftovers to rotten fruits and vegetables, there are many reasons why we waste so much food on a daily basis. But as with everything, there are ways to reduce the amount of waste we produce as individuals, as well as as a society. Read on to learn more…
Know your fridge’s expiration dates
Sure, this may seem like common sense, but have you ever actually paid attention to the expiration dates on your produce? Most of us are guilty of tossing highly perishable items such as fruits, veggies and dairy products based on their printed expiration dates, even if they’re not actually spoiled. However, you can extend the life of these items by simply paying attention to their “sell-by” and “best-by” dates. The “sell-by” date is when a retailer thinks the item is at its best quality, while the “best-by” date is when the item actually expires. The difference between the two is usually a few days to account for transportation and distribution. This means you can still consume the item even after the “best-by” date has passed, as long as it’s not spoiled.
Start a food inventory before going to the store
Another way to reduce food waste is by starting a food inventory before going to the store. You can do this by writing down everything you’re running low on and how much of it you have left. You can also take a picture of your refrigerator’s shelf and add the information in the photo’s description. This way you’ll have a record of what you’re running low on, as well as its location in the fridge. Once you’re at the store, start with what you already have so you don’t overbuy. This can reduce food waste by up to 20%. Another way to reduce food waste is by meal planning. This will help you make better purchasing decisions by taking your inventory into account. You’ll know what meals you need to make and what ingredients you need to make them. This will prevent you from overbuying, which is a common cause of food waste.
Look for ways to extend the life of your food
There are a few ways you can do this. First, make your produce last longer by storing it properly. This means keeping it out of direct sunlight and away from other fruits and veggies that give off ethylene gas, which can speed up the ripening process. You can also try using ethylene-retardant bags in order to extend the life of your produce. Keeping food fresh can also help extend its shelf life. Some of the best ways to do this include keeping your fridge at a steady temperature, using sealing bags and storing foods in the right places. When it comes to keeping your food fresh in the fridge, you should aim for an even temperature of about 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping your produce in sealed bags and putting them in the fridge’s produce drawer will help keep them fresh for longer.
Meal plan and stick to it
This may sound a bit contradicting to the last point, but nonetheless it will help reduce food waste. If you’re meal planning, you’ll be buying exactly what you need, which will reduce the amount of food you throw away. However, even if you’re sticking to a meal plan, you can still reduce food waste. If you notice that you planned to eat a certain ingredient at a certain meal, but you don’t end up using it, take those ingredients and use them another way. This is a great way to utilize all of the ingredients you’ve purchased. You can also freeze ingredients that you don’t have time to use immediately. This will extend their shelf life and allow you to use them at a later time.
Commit to a weekly grocery shopping and meal prep day
If you’re constantly running out of fresh fruits and veggies, you’re more likely to go ahead and buy the produce that’s on the verge of spoiling. This can lead to a lot of wasted produce and money. By committing to a weekly grocery shopping and meal prep day, you can avoid this problem. By planning your meals and buying the ingredients you need for them all at once, you’ll be less likely to waste any produce. You can also consider joining a grocery delivery service. This will allow you to order your groceries online and have them delivered to your door at a specific time. This will give you ample time to prepare your meals and make the most out of each ingredient.
It’s estimated that about one third of all food produced worldwide is wasted. This amounts to about 1.3 billion tons of food annually. We can reduce this wasted food by practicing good fridge hygiene, shopping smart and not letting food go bad in the first place. There are tons of ways to reduce the amount of food waste in your home, and it all starts with taking inventory and making better purchasing decisions. You can start by trying some of the tips listed above. And once you’ve reduced the amount of food waste in your home, you can start saving money on your grocery bills.
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