How do you compare with the average American who throws away 20 pounds of food per month? That adds up in so many ways of waste, from money to trash space. Not to mention fridge space that didnt need to be taken, which amplifies the problem further. The national numbers are staggering. $165 billion worth of food each year in the U.S. goes to waste according to the National Resources Defense Council.
Below are some tips that will help you waste less food and get in the habit of using the food you buy quickly instead of allowing it to go bad.
- Plan Your Shopping Around What You Already Have Before you go to the store, get your list and look in the fridge and pantry. Notice the things that you will want to make or use in the next few days to a week. Determine what else is needed to use with them and purchase those things. This helps you use what you have and plan meals better.
NOTE: If youre not sure how youll use something you see in the pantry, the Internet is the perfect place to find a recipe with that item in it.
- Count Your Meals Look at the week ahead and determine how many meals you will be making in your kitchen. How many times will you eat out? Specify your shopping list quantities based on the number of meals you will plan to make so you dont over-buy.
- Store Food Efficiently When you bring groceries home, break out your food into what you will use soon, like in the next few days, and put the rest in the freezer if its perishable. Or put the portion you will use in a more visible place and the remainder in the back of things you will use first.
TIP: Produce will last longer if its kept dry. Dont rinse until just before using, and remove the plastic from things like cauliflower and keep it wrapped in towel or paper towel while stored until use. Youll be surprised at how much more life you get.
- Shop More Often Many of us want to buy enough when we shop so we dont have to shop too often. Then what happens is we dont use it and it goes to waste. Learn what kinds of food you consume at what pace. For example, you might love peaches, nectarines, and grapes. Youll be tempted to buy all 3 if theres a sale. But consider that you might not even eat all of ONE of those groups before it goes bad, much less if you buy all 3. Determine that you will shop more often and only buy what you know you will consume before you shop next. If you cant shop more often, switch some of the items you buy to frozen instead of fresh to avoid waste.
- Above All, ORGANIZE An organized method of storing food and having places to put everything will help you waste less food. Many times, people dont know its there until its already bad. Thats because they dont have an organized system of storing food.
At Central Cabinetry, our designers know how to design the most efficient kitchen possible. Not only to make you a better cook, but a better organizer to utilize food and everything related to it better. To begin the discussion, contact one of our experts here.
See our other ways to save on your budget in your new kitchen by downloading our FREE guide: