Here are 8 great ways to reduce food waste.  I know that you may not use all of my ideas, but a couple of them are really easy.

I always try very diligently to cut back on waste – not only to save money but to help the environment as well!

  1. Plan out your meals:

I find it very easy to plan my meals for the week.  I find that if I don't I am stopping at the grocery store and buying something I may not need. Before I step foot in the grocery store, I plan out what Big John and I will be eating for every meal (or at least “ballpark” it!). This helps to ensure that I don’t get too much – and helps with our diets as well!

If you do run short of an item or forget an ingredient do what I do....send your husband to shop.  Big John is more disciplined than me and only comes back on what I text him to buy.

  1. Know the food you’re buying:

I really try hard to put away my groceries in the proper place. For example, tomatoes should be kept at room temperature away from sunlight, and apples should be refrigerated for maximum freshness! I have also found that buying from my local farmers market the vegetables last for much longer.

  1. Make a list of what you’re throwing away

I try to be honest with myself. I hate to waste food and making a mental list of what I am throwing out helps me with my next grocery trip.

  1. Clean out your pantry/fridge

Remember when I said it’s easy to forget about the food you buy when you get home from the grocery store? The more visible you keep your food, the more likely you are to eat it! Cut down on the clutter within your pantry and fridge so that you can tell what food you already have in your home

  1. Use your smartphone!

Apps aren’t just useful for keeping your kids busy – there are a ton of tools you can use to cut back on food waste. There are some that help you find recipes based on the food you already have.

  1. Speaking of leftovers:

Eat them! When making meals for the whole family, it can be a little hard to pinpoint exactly how much to make (and we’d always rather make too much than too little, right?). Don’t let that extra food go to waste, though! Put it back in your fridge in an airtight container, and have it for lunch the next day!

I love it when I can use up the veggies in my refrigerator.  What could be better than whipping up and Crispy Pork Stir Fry or and Pepper Steak?  And why not a delicious and easy Pasta Primavera with all of those delicious vegetables?

  1. Still, have too much? Donate it!

Did you throw a party and have an entire platter full of veggies, fruit, and hamburgers leftover? We’ve all been in this dilemma – there’s so much leftover, we know we won’t be able to eat it all by the time it goes bad. This is a perfect time to donate it to a good cause! Check out the organizations and food banks in your area – they’d love to take the food off of your hands! There is an app for this also.

  1. Don’t be scared of the expiration or sell-by dates

While I'm not telling you to suck it up and drink the curdled milk, many of the expiration and sell-by dates are based on quality and not food safety. Go off of your sight and smell rather than the printed dates to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth on the food you’re buying.

The best way to support good practices is to buy local! I love going to my local farmer’s markets and I know I am getting the quality, delicious products (and supporting your community as well)!

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