Food waste is getting out of control. Even if you ignore the waste of water, energy and resources; wasting food wastes money! Money that you have worked hard to earn. And reducing food waste isn’t rocket science.
Buy less, eat it all up and keep track of what you waste.
Here are our top 3 tips for reducing food waste.
1. Collect your food waste
The first step to reducing your food waste is to really understand how much food you are wasting. If you are throwing your food waste into your garbage or down your garburator… then stop! Get a bowl or a pan on your kitchen side and use it to collect all of your food waste.
At the end of each day take a look at what is in your food waste. Think about why each piece is there. What can you do to stop it happening? Do a quick sum of how much money you have thrown into your food waste bowl at the end of each day,… each week,… each year.
The American Chemical Council, estimates that the average American household throws away $640 of food a year. That’s over $50,000 down the drain (or in the garbage) in a lifetime!!
I’m sure each and every one of us can think of something better to spend $50,000 on!
Once you start collecting your food waste, challenge yourself (and your family) to reduce your waste each day. And, obviously, now that you’ve separated your food waste it is a really easy process to make your own compost in a bokashi composter. How to bokashi compost
2. Make a list
When your food cupboards are looking bare the first thing you should do is write a menu of what you plan to eat; a week normally works well. Include all meals; lunches and dinners. Leave at least a day free to eat up leftovers, or to encourage you to make a meal from pantry items.
Then write your shopping list from your menu. Remember what you’ve seen in your food waste container each day. Are you always throwing away fresh produce? Then buy less!
Then you are ready to hit the grocery store. Feel free to be flexible when going round the store and take advantage of deals and sale items. BUT if you buy something that’s not on your list, remember to remove something else from your list. The first way to reduce food waste in your home is to only buy what you need.
3. Eat your left overs
It may seem obvious, but a great way to reduce food waste is to eat your leftovers.
Here are a few handy tips on using leftovers:
- Serve smaller portions. This way your leftovers are left in your pans, rather than half-eaten on your plate. It’s much better to go back for seconds, if you want, rather than leaving lots of uneaten food on your plate.
- Freeze lunch-sized portions of leftovers. This makes it really easy to grab homemade lunch for school or work. Saves time in the morning and saves money otherwise spent on eating lunches out.
- Reinvent your leftovers. Mix in some chilli, or fresh vegetables to give your leftovers a new life the next day.
- Add leftover vegetables to a pot on the freezer. When the pot is full you can add some herbs and flavoring to make a simple (cheap) soup.
- Clearly label containers in your fridge and freezer so that you know what your leftovers are, and how long they have been in the fridge or freezer.
Now I guess you can sit back and start working out what you’re going to do with that extra $50,000 you’ve just saved from your garbage can!