Tips To Avoid Wasting Food And To Save Money
While it’s not something to be proud of, chances are we are all guilty of it at some point… Wasting food. It could be due to not being as hungry as we originally thought, or poor planning and cooking way too much. But regardless, it’s happened to us all. But how can we prevent wasting so much?
Food Prep And Food Waste
I think about food waste pretty often. I have tried over the years to get better about using up the food we have, but I still struggle. Growing up, there were 5 of us in the house, so when it came to cooking, we cooked large enough portions to feed us all. Now, it’s just me and my fiancé, and I still usually cook too much.
Every week, we go to the grocery store and try to plan out the meals we’ll have that upcoming week. We want to make sure we have enough for the whole week. And there have been times when we didn’t quite get enough and had to grab fast food or something toward the end of the week. It seems it’s one extreme or the other.
Now with the cost of everything, wasting food is something I hope to avoid as much as possible. I hate throwing things out knowing how much money we spent on all of those groceries. And I’m trying to find ways to prepare better and avoid having to toss out food that’s gone bad. So, I did a few searches to find ideas to help prevent wasting food.
Tips To Avoid Wasting Food
One thing that I have done more of recently is freezing extra food. I’ve done this with extra spaghetti sauce and chili specifically. I know some things don’t freeze well, but when you have something that does, it’s one way to help prevent wasting food. Plus, it’s nice when you’re planning for the week and realize you have something already made that you can just thaw out and go.
Another tip is to take inventory before you grocery shop. I try to do this, but sometimes I’m just not successful! If you know what you have, you’ll avoid buying it at the store and having more than you need. This isn’t such a bad thing if the items are shelf-stable pantry items that will last a while. But if you’re buying perishable food, there’s a chance you’ll wind up wasting some of it, unless you get super creative with ways to use it.
In addition to taking inventory, making a meal plan for the week can be crucial in preventing food waste. Knowing what you’ll eat each day can help you shop for the specific items you’ll need and how much of each item you need.
One thing that often goes bad in my house is fruit and vegetables. The Mayo Clinic recommends buying just what you need for the week. Also, make sure to store them properly to get the most out of them. They recommend storing greens in a plastic container with a paper towel in the crisper drawer. Tomatoes and bananas can be stored on the counter, but potatoes and onions need a cool, dark place to keep them fresh.
It’s not just fruits and veggies though. Having proper storage for any food will make a difference in how long food lasts. You want to make sure you have storage bags or containers that are freezer-safe if you’re going to store the extra in the freezer. And be sure to move older foods
And lastly, find creative ways to utilize leftovers. I love having foods I can use in different ways so I don’t get burnt out on the same thing after a few days. Chili during the colder months is one of my favorites because we can do just chili or chili dogs. You can also make Frito Chili Pie or load up a baked potato with some chili and cheese.
Lately, I’ve also tried to make chicken in bulk and find various ways to mix it up. Some days I’ll mix it with rice and hot sauce. Other days I’ll just add a side of beans or potatoes. I’ve even just scrambled up some eggs and mixed in cheese and chicken too for a high-protein lunch.
Throwing away food is a huge waste of money. By planning out your meals and grocery lists each week, you’ll avoid buying too much which will save you money at the store. And if you’re like me, this year you are really working toward being more financially conscious. And I know that being aware of what I buy and how I prep my groceries will make a difference. It may not seem like it week-to-week, but a little bit adds up over the course of a year!
Sick Of Food Waste Day
According to National Today, Hellman’s decided to make February 12th, the day after the Super Bowl, “Sick Of Food Waste Day.” The company is encouraging people to fight food waste. In fact, they’ve made a contest of it.
Hellman’s Mayonnaise is giving fans a chance to win a trip to New Orleans next year. You can enter by posting on TikTok or Instagram Reels tagging @hellmannsmayonnaise #SickOfFoodWasteDay and #Sweeptakes on February 12th. Not only do you have a shot at the trip, but it will also help next year’s Big Game food recovery efforts with Hellman’s and their partner, Food Recovery Network.
Get more details on their sweepstakes HERE.