7 Smart Ways to Reduce Food Waste at Home

Food. Waste. Are there any two more depressing words when it comes to the kitchen? With all the resources we have, food waste prevention should be second nature.

Let these food waste prevention tips help you create less waste in your own kitchen.

1. Shop more often. This may seem counter-intuitive, but the more frequently you shop for items you absolutely need for meals (think fresh), the less there is to go to waste.

2. Menu plan. On that same note, if you know exactly what you’re going to prepare for the day, week or (gasp!) month, you can reduce your risk of creating food waste.

3. Shop with lists. Simple as that. Know your game plan. Don’t let grocery stores overwhelm you.

4. Avoid impulse items. Here’s the thing. You may buy all the healthy foods on your list. But when you also add in KitKat bars and MilkDuds because they were on sale right there by the register, you’re going to sacrifice calories somewhere else to eat that junk. This means more likelihood that you will let that fresh broccoli rot in the crisper. Tsk!

5. Keep a list on/near your fridge. Refrigerators aren’t best designed to prevent food waste. Items get shoved to the back or bottom and it’s super easy to forget what you have in the crisper. It’s really helpful to write down what fresh items are in your kitchen and scratch them off as you go (or turn them into another shopping list). That way you know you’ve got carrots that need eating, yogurt, etc–and you’re more likely to eat it before it goes bad.

6. Pre-cook. It’s one of my go-to tips at home, especially now with a baby. I make big batches of beans, rice, steamed veggies, etc, so they’re all ready to get put together into smaller meals. With less cooking to do, meals don’t seem as daunting and ingredients get eaten, not tossed.

7. Grow your own! It’s a lot easier to walk out to your yard and clip some salad greens than watch the Costco-size tub of mesclun mix you bought on an empty stomach turn to mush. Not to mention all the gazillion other super healthy benefits growing your own food has for your health and the environment.

What are your favorite food waste prevention tips?

Related:
14 Ways to Cook with Food Scraps

67 comments

Christine J.
Christine J.2 months ago

Being broke can do wonders for your kitchen and shopping discipline. I waste virtually nothing now.

Kay Buhler
Kay buhler3 months ago

These tips really work. I do all of them except the first one. I've been shopping for a month for many years now and have it down to a fine art, by freezing a lot of things, including milk. Monthly shopping seems to keep the bill down. I make a menu and eat fresh the first week or two, after that it's frozen or canned along with fresh from my garden, which produces something about ten months of the year.

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers4 months ago

TYFS.

Veronica Danie
Veronica Danie4 months ago

Thanks!

Jennifer F.
Jennifer F.4 months ago

Excellent tips! Some I already do but others really do help!

Natasha Gordon
Natasha Gordon4 months ago

Fantastic tips. Thanks!

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola10 months ago

thanks for sharing

Magdalena J.
Alice L.1 years ago

Thank you!

Elena P.
Elena Poensgen1 years ago

Thank you :)

Barb Hansen
Ba H.1 years ago

thanks