A large percentage of food in the United States is wasted. Some food is wasted commercially by grocery stores, restaurants, or other food manufacturers, but some food waste occurs in people’s homes.
With the increasing number of people struggling with food insecurity, no one wants to waste food. You can make a difference in stopping food waste.
Fifteen ways to stop food waste
Here are fifteen ways to stop wasting food in your home.
1. Stop wasting food by using up all your leftovers
Come up with creative ways to use up your leftovers. Many blogs, YouTube videos, and Tiktok posts are dedicated to cooking with leftovers. Using every bit of food to yield delicious meals without waste is satisfying.
For example, if you have leftover baked chicken, by adding a few extra ingredients, you can create other chicken dishes for the rest of the week, including:
- It wraps
Of course, another option is to freeze the chickens and use them again.
2. Make a list
Planning is strategic to avoid wasting food. Be sure to make a grocery list before you go grocery shopping. This habit prevents overshopping. It’s easy to buy food, think you’re going to eat it, then let it sit in the fridge for weeks. Keep a list and stick to it.
3. Shop local to cut down on food waste
If possible, try to shop at local farmers’ markets. They don’t carry as much food as grocery stores. Therefore, there is less food waste. You get fresher produce at these stands. Most of the products they sell are grown locally and in season.
No need to worry about bugs or insects during transport production. Plus, you can buy less when you shop at farmers’ markets because you can go back each week to buy what you need for the week.
4. Plan your meals to avoid waste
Before you go to the grocery store, create a menu plan for the week. Then buy only the items you need for the dishes on your menu. This method reduces food waste.
Plus, planning your menu reduces your stress about what to make each night. You can prepare dinner, lunch, and even breakfast menus. Here’s a sample 5-day menu you can use to get you started. The seventh day may be the rest.
|Day of the week
|The ingredients you need
|Baked chicken, brown rice, roasted broccoli
|Chicken, brown rice, broccoli, olive oil, salt, pepper
|Hamburger, sweet potato fries, salad, or raw veggies like carrots, celery, and cauliflower
|Carrots, sweet potatoes or frozen sweet potato fries, salt, olive oil, lettuce, strawberry veggies
|Grilled salmon, brown rice, green beans
|salmon, brown rice, frozen green peas, olive oil, salt, and pepper. lemon
|Stir-fry the remaining vegan and remaining chicken with brown rice
|Leftover chicken, celery, celery, cauliflower, sesame oil, brown rice, soy sauce
|Pizza and salad
|Ingredients for lettuce, frozen pizza, or homemade pizza
Other ideas: Salmon salad for lunch, leftover hamburger in veggie soup or cashier, grind veggies for soup, veggie patties, or gratin.
5. Store your product
Store your fruits and vegetables properly, so they don’t go bad too quickly. If you separate fruits and vegetables, you can keep your produce fresher. Make sure our refrigerator has good circulation.
If you notice your bananas going brown, peel them and place the bananas in a zip lock bag and freeze. You can use bananas smooth or in cooking.
6. Don’t think that food is bad
Don’t be afraid of food that looks imperfect. You can cut off the brown or bruised points to use the leftovers. If it looks wrinkled, it’s easy to assume that the production is terrible.
But you can still use fruits and vegetables in smoothies, cashews, or soups. In some grocery stores, imperfect produce is sold at low prices. So you can save and help prevent wastage and save money simultaneously.
7. Use your kitchen scraps
Find creative ways to use up your kitchen scraps. Save veggie chips for soups, broths, or sauces. Leftover coffee grounds and eggshells are suitable for your garden compost pile.
Leftover bread can be turned into breadcrumbs or croutons. Some people grow leftover raw vegetables in their garden. Here are the veggies you can grow from some parts of the plant:
- Roman bowl: cut off the bottom and place in a deep water bowl until the root is visible. Plant in the soil outside.
- Potatoes with strawberries. Cut the potatoes into cubes. Make sure there is an eye in each cube. Plant cut potato pieces in your garden. You can harvest them in 90 days.
- Celery: Cut off the bottom of the stalk and place it in a deep bowl. Until the roots appear. Plant outside.
- Celery with strawberries. Cut off the bottoms of the celery and place it in a deep bowl. Plant them outside when the roots are long.
8. Avoid wasting food by organizing it so you can see
It is easy to “lose” food in the refrigerator. The stuff stays behind the almond milk carton. You don’t see him for a few weeks. Until then, it’s gone badly. Try to organize your refrigerator and pantry by expiration dates or when you cook. If possible, freeze items that won’t be used for a while. Many foods can be frozen. Here is a list of foods you can freeze. You may not know about this:
- Butter: Store in zipper bags.
- Buttermilk: Store in an airtight container.
- Hard cheeses: stored in pleated and zippered bags.
- Egg white. Store in an airtight container
- Herbs: Chop and store in plastic bags.
- Nuts and seeds. Store in food storage bags.
- Pesto: Store in an airtight container.
- Waffles: Shop in plastic bags
- Pancakes: Store in an airtight container.
- Whole wheat flour
- Baked chicken. Store in an airtight container.
- Baked burek: Be sure to store it in an airtight container
- Wine: Spoon a teaspoon or two into a freezer tray and use for stews
9. Buy more frozen fruits and vegetables
When you buy frozen vegetables and fruits, they last longer than fresh, but they are still very healthy. You can use frozen veggies in soups, stews, or side dishes. Frozen fruit is perfect for smoothies.
Research shows that the vitamin content of frozen vegetables and fruits is the same or even higher than that of fresh vegetables and fruits. Only vegetables frozen with beta carotene were lower in vitamin content.
10. Grocery stores more often and buy less
It is better to buy less and go to the store more often rather than stocking up on food. When you change your pants, you may forget what you bought or buy things you don’t need.
Create a menu for a few days instead of an entire week. Then, if you go out to dinner, you won’t waste the food you reserved for that meal.
11. Donating psychics to avoid creating food waste
Find a local shelter or food bank that accepts donations. Take your leftovers or canned goods there. Get in the habit every month to eliminate things you know you won’t use. Donate them.
Some churches accept donations, and some schools have a food truck for local shelters. Do your research. You will be surprised at all the places that need both perishable and non-perishable food.
12. Save vegetable scraps for homemade broth
Vegetables and scraps make healthy broths. Current tops, grass stems, and onion skins are boiled and turned into stock. Just wash them well before cooking to eliminate dirt and pesticides used outside the skins and roots.
13. Store your bread in the freezer to stop wastage
The bread comes back quickly. It will soon form if you leave your bread in a pan. Store it in the refrigerator or freezer to extend the life of bread, bagels, and hamburger buns.
14. Stop food waste by avoiding bulk shopping
Contrary to popular belief, buying a loaf of bread is not a good idea to stop food waste. When you buy a bun, you end up eating a lot. Usually, the food expires or spoils before you can use it.
The best way to avoid wasting food is to use all produce, milk, and bread before shopping. Canned foods last longer, but you should still check for expiration dates. Other foods to prevent are:
- Salad dressings
- Frozen foods
- Soy sauce, drumstick sauce, and Worcestershire sauce
- Hot peppers
15. Be adventurous. Test new recipes
Leftovers or random things in your fridge can force you to be adventurous and try new recipes. This helps you not to throw these things away. Many food blogs are dedicated to the creative cooking of leftovers or produce. Check them out. Talk to Grandma about what she used to make with pieces or canned goods.
Most people of that generation had to make do with what was scarce, so they set the example of using creative ingredients for food.
Final thoughts on learning to stop wasting food
There are so many ways to prevent food waste in your kitchen correctly. It takes some simple planning and creativity, but these fifteen tips will get you started on eliminating wasting food.