20 Tips to Waste Less Food

fruit-stand
Photo by Adam Scheuermann

My first attempt at reusing leftovers was in college. I made “grain casserole” using all the leftovers I could find: rice a roni, pasta, rice, and stovetop stuffing. Some things shouldn’t be saved.

Doug’s granny was gifted at making the most of leftovers. When she was young she worked picking cotton. Since she was a hard worker she made as much as the men: a silver dime a day. Most of that money was used to buy beans and cornmeal for the family, and nothing was wasted. Whatever was for Sunday lunch ended up in Monday’s stew, and it always tasted good.

Saving food has become somewhat of a lost art due to abundance and convenience, but it’s essential to save money on groceries. Here are twenty tips to make the most of your food and minimize food waste.

Use the Freezer

1. When you cook a meal that’s big enough to have leftovers, go ahead and freeze them right away. The food will taste better, and you won’t have to eat the same thing three nights in a row.

2. When you freeze sauces or soups in plastic freezer bags, squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing the bag. Stack them flat so they won’t take up much space in your freezer.

3. Preserve an abundance of lemons and limes by squeezing the juice into ice cube trays and saving the frozen juice for later.

4. Fruits like grapes, bananas, and strawberries can be frozen. Spread out berries on a cookie sheet to freeze so they won’t be stuck together, before you wrap them up.

5. Leftover wine can be frozen in ice cube trays, and then later added to simmering meat dishes or spaghetti sauce.

Make the Most of Older Food

6. What do you do with old bread? Cut the bread into squares and toast on low heat to make croutons. Toast and then crumble bread in a food processor to make bread crumbs. Make french toast or stuffing.

7. Fried rice is better when made with day old rice instead of fresh-cooked rice.

8. Brown bananas taste sweet in smoothies and banana bread.

9. Old vegetables can be added into stews or stocks.

10. Tomatoes can be pureed into tomato sauce or salsa.

Save the Smaller Things

11. A small portion of leftovers might not be enough for a meal, but it could make a good snack. Check the fridge for small servings before pulling out a bag of chips.

12. Leftover roasted chicken can be added to a stock.

13. Rinds of hard cheeses such as parmesan can be frozen and later added to soups for richer flavor.

14. When your little one runs off without finishing a glass of milk, don’t pour it down the sink and wash the glass. Put it back in the fridge for the next time they want something to drink.

Prevention is Best

15. Know what’s in your freezer or fridge. Keep foods in the freezer labeled well, and review your inventory every few days, or at least before you go to the grocery store.

16. Package foods properly. Don’t toss something into the fridge uncovered, or leave something sitting on the counter. Wrap it up or place a plate over a bowl of food to cover it up.

17. Be realistic about what your family will eat, and keep that in mind before you stock up on a good sale at the grocery store.

18. Have wooden clothes pins accessible in the kitchen to seal bags closed in the pantry and freezer.

19. Mason jars are an easy and inexpensive way to store bulk pantry foods. While you don’t want to reuse a lid for canning, it’s fine to wash and reuse them for storing dry goods.

20. One bad apple… Check your large bags of potatoes, onions, apples, and cartons of berries before you store them away. You wouldn’t want to let one funky potato cause the rest of them to go bad before you eat them.

What are your tips to make the most of your groceries and leftover food?

July is No Spend Month, and our family is spending less than $250 for all food, gas, and personal expenses for the entire month. Find out more…

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. I used to always lose stuff in the back of the fridge, but here’s an idea: Use cheap cottage cheese or sour cream containers to store leftovers in, and write what’s in them with a sharpie. I keep a sharpie on top of the fridge for this. Because the containers are cheap I don’t mind writing on them, and even wash them a few times, crossing out the previous writing with the current contents.

  2. I just did a post on this exact thing this morning! Using what you have before buying more!! Cheers to your wonderful site!

    Cherry Tree Lane´s last blog post..Frugal Francine’s Domestic Challenge #1

  3. Great tips. Another one I use to save space in the freezer is to boil down homemade chicken stock and then reconstitute it when I use it. You wouldn’t believe how little can be left when you boil down a whole gallon of it.

    Shannon´s last blog post..Fats to Eat, Fats to Avoid… or Why I Love Butter

    • I’ll start doing that! I haven’t make stock as often just because I haven’t had enough space in the freezer.

  4. I have a magnetic whiteboard on my fridge, and when I put leftovers in I write the name and date on the board. Not only does it remind me to use leftovers that often get lost in the back of the fridge, but it helps me figure out what to make on those days when I need a lunch plan spur-of-the-moment.

  5. I have wasted so many bags of potatoes by having one bad one in the bunch!

    Thanks for the tips!

    songbirdtiff´s last blog post..Price My Space

  6. Thanks for the tips! I especially like the one about freezing the lemon and lime juice in ice cube trays.

    I try to tidy up my fridge and pantry once a week. I waste more food when my refrigerator is messy and things get hidden in the back. I try to do this right before I head to the store. That way I remember to add things I need to the list as well.

    Jennifer´s last blog post..got milk?

  7. Love these great tips! I am the worst when it comes to preserving food. I have a hubby who dislikes leftovers and I am not creatively thinking of ways to get him to eat them…until now!

    The tips about freezing fruit, wine and cheese are great! Who knew?

  8. I’m learning the better I store veggies the longer they last. My heads of lettuce used to always go bad before we could eat it all until I read the tip to wash it, wrap it up in paper towels and store it in a bag in the crisper. It was fresh for almost two weeks and we finished all of it!

    Also with asparagus, I pour a little water into a plastic grocery bag, tie off the top and store it standing up in water. I change the water every other day if its around long enough, and they’re always crisp and fresh.

    Kait Palmer´s last blog post..Penny Pinching Palmers and Recently Rotund Roy Boy

    • I store tofu in a glass jar with water that I switch out every other day. I store asparagus in a jar with a little water in the bottom and a plastic bag over it

  9. When I get grocery and vegetables for the week or when there is left overs, I write it on the post-it , date it, and stick it to on the fridge. When the stuff gets used up, I just remove the sticky or strike it (if I using the same sticky for more than one item). It helps me to keep track of what in the fridge and how long it had been there. I keep an inventory of the condiments, packaged or frozen food also this way.

    It has also helped me to use the leftovers and stuff from fridge efficiently. Earlier I used to open the fridge to check out and decide, hence wasting a lot of energy. With the stickys outside, now I can take my time to decide before opening the fridge.

    Anu´s last blog post..Friends On Asphalt

  10. What a great collection of tips! But what is leftover wine? ;) Actually the ice cube tray is a good trick. I always forget how long an open bottle has been in the fridge, so it usually goes down the drain.

    I use “planned-overs.” Leftover roast chicken becomes chicken enchiladas or baked chicken and ziti. Crock-pot chuck roast becomes barbecue beef sandwiches. Especially with small children, we seldom use large quantities of meat.

    Karla @ Mom’s Potluck´s last blog post..The hippie chick’s guide to Pottery Barn

  11. How long can I keep a bottle of wine in the fridge? A couple months? We have a neighboor who makes his own and passes bottles to us but it is mostly used in cooking at our house.

    • It depends on the wine, but the usual suggestion is three days for an opened bottle. The flavor can change, but you might not notice if you’re cooking with it instead of drinking it.

      A sommelier would probably fall over at my suggestion to freeze the last of the bottle. Freezing changes the flavor too, but it’s fine for cooking.

      • You can buy a device that sucks the air out of wine bottles so it stays drinkable longer.I usually add it to stews.If you have forgotten about it,leave it awhile longer and you will have made your own wine vinegar.Same goes for sweet apple cider.

    • We have red and white wine that we use in cooking that we have had for at least 6 months. We refrigerate the white wine and just leave the red wine out. I just assume that the alcohol kills any bacteria that try to contaminate it, and everything I cook with it still tastes the same.

  12. Andrea_R says:

    Something else Grandma used to do: save the water from canned vegetables and from boiling veggies. Use it as vegetable stock.

    You can also save every last bit of leftover veggies and dump them all in the stew pot.

    and #12 – save the leftover chicken for use in casseroles (most obvious use)! Or maybe toss it in with that leftover rice, and those leftover veggies.

  13. Great tips! I freeze wine in 1/2 cup quantities in freezer bags. I’ve also found that keep a sharpie marker in the kitchen to mark the date we open things like lunch meat keeps me from questioning whether it’s still good or not.

    Tiffany´s last blog post..Judy’s Strawberry Pie

  14. What a fabulous post – thank you. I especially like the point about freezing the juice from lemons and limes. Lemon cake and lime biscuits are a favourite here and I often put the grated fruit to one side with the intention of using the juice, only to find it a couple of days later looking dessicated!

    I wrote a post about reducing food waste too; it’s one of the most popular pages on our site – you might find something helpful in there. My top tip is never to shop when you’re hungry ;)

    Thanks for sharing your resourceful suggestions. Here’s a link to the post I wrote:

    http://myzerowaste.com/articles/food/how-to-reduce-food-waste/

    Mrs Green´s last blog post..Is cornstarch plastic packaging (PLA) compostable or recyclable?

  15. Hmm. My problem is keeping the freezer organized to see what is available. My refigerator is a top freezer/bottom frig. It seems as though things just get dumped in and buried. I tried using see through plastic containers that I can label and pull out, but it cuts down on storage space. Plus my husband doesn’t like them and empties them out and leaves them on top of the frig. I think next refrig I am getting is a side by side. At least with all the shelves I could organize better. I tried using a list but it would get removed and then lost.

    Rochelle´s last blog post..An All Star Weekend

    • Rochelle,

      I have a side-by-side here in our rental house, and it drives me nuts! The shelves are so much narrower, I have a hard time keeping it organized and getting things to fit. Plus my kids have a hard time reaching things on the upper shelves. The only thing I really like about it is the in-door ice and water dispenser.

      In my old fridge (freezer on top) I used bins to organize the freezer and used lazy susans in the fridge for smaller items like condiments.

      My dream fridge is the newish french door with bottom freezer drawer, but they cost over $2000! So I guess I’ll probably be dreaming the rest of my life…

      The grass is always greener, ain’t it?

      Susanne´s last post…Twenty Seven Years

  16. These are very good tips and reminders. I am really bad in this department often, not intentionally though. Mostly it’s because of my health issues getting in the way and then I don’t end up using items in time, especially fresh produce. I need to keep tweaking how much I buy I guess.

    Just today I made an attempt to use up some items – I have banana bread baking in the toaster oven and I used leftover veggies, etc. to make a marinated veggie salad. Knowing that tomorrow is trash day is a good motivator. :)

  17. My best suggestion is to keep your shopping list simple by cooking from scratch as much as possible. It’s much easier to avoid waste when you cook from dry staples (kept in clear containers) and frozen meats along with fresh produce. The simpler the pantry, the easier it is to keep track and the healthier you’ll be! 90% of my cooking arsenal is grains, milk and cheese, clean protein and veg. The other 10% is goldfish crackers ; )
    Great post, right up my alley : )

    juliet´s last blog post..The Madoff Follies

  18. Rachel, great tips! I included a link back to this post on my post today! I was lucky I think, because I grew up with two very wonderful and thrifty ladies…my mom and grandmother. They were the best cooks and they used up everything!

    Diann´s last blog post..Waste Not, Want Not

  19. I’ve seen some great lists for keeping track of what goes into the freezer, but I’ve not been so good at actually using them. My solution? Buy a couple smallish bins, then label ‘em “soups”, “veg”, and “main dish.” That way, when we’re rummaging around for the peas, I know where to look, and when we’re needing something to heat up as a “microwave meal” I can hone right in on the spicy lentils or the casserole. Plus, when the “soup” bin gets a little sparse, it’s a good signal to whip up a big new batch of soup with the odds-n-ends in the fridge.

  20. Christy says:

    I freeze leftover chicken or beef broth in ice cube trays–I started doing this when I made my own baby food. I would freeze the purees in ice cube trays, then pop them out, then put the cubes in a freezer safe container (we try not to use too many ziplocks–environmentally concious). So one day I thought, why not do this with broths? When a recipe calls for just 1/2 c instead of a whole can, I pull out a few cubes and melt them in the microwave. I label my containers with a piece of masking tape and did so for baby foods too–label what it is and the date. I suppose there are many things you could preserve this way (wine). The cubes are nice because you can take out a few at a time instead of having a whole cup or whole quart frozen!

  21. I have thrown out a lot of moldy food lately, thanks for the tips, I need them.

    Jennifer´s last blog post..100 Ways We Save Money – Part 2

  22. This is very helpful. I am trying to cook a lot of food on Sundays so it is easy to grab something healthy all week. I didn’t think of freezing most of it. Also, working on perfecting burritos. Made batches of beans, brown rice, shredded cheddar and turkely breast. Again, freezing makes for a happy 14 year old!

    Mary Anne Davis´s last blog post..Groovy Bowls on Parade

  23. I’ve never mastered the art of freezing things successfully. But I am a queen of using up leftovers – we try very hard to never waste food.

    Jamie

    steadymom´s last blog post..Any Questions?

  24. I love the idea of freezing wine in ice cube trays. It seems like when we open a bottle of wine there is always leftover and I end up pouring it out. Whenever I need wine for a recipe I don’t want to open a new bottle for a cup or two and then pour the rest out. I will definitely be doing this!!!!!

    Amy-Cutting Coupons in KC´s last blog post..FREE Baja Fish Taco at Long John Silvers 7/14

  25. I liken throwing out food to throwing out money. I’d just as soon throw $$ in the garbage as I would food. We buy a lot of locally farmer grown food and it seems almost rude to throw out what they worked so hard to grow. The one thing I did toss lately was a bad head of lettuce. I overstocked when I bought produce because I didn’t take into account our farm pick up later in the week.

    renee @ FIMBY´s last blog post..Five free activities for rainy summer days

  26. Thanks for the tips–and I enjoyed reading the comments. With respect to leftover veggies, I just take all leftovers and put them in a container in my freezer. If I just have 1 spoon of green beans one night, it goes in the freezer container. When it’s sufficently full, I make a soup. Then I freeze the soup into individual containers (cottage cheese or sour cream containers) and take them to work….

  27. My favorite milk trick is to freeze the last of the gallon in sippy cups a day or two before it expires instead of dumping after the expiration date. It’s great to grab on the go for my kids, and it will stay cold for quite awhile even on the hottest days. I do the same with juice when I’m needing to make space in the fridge. We’ll grab these when we go to the pool or park, which also saves us on buying single serving juice boxes.

    Also, I always buy lots of apples, peaches, plums, pears, etc. when they are $.99/lb. If we don’t get them eaten, I’ll bake, puree and freeze them in ice cube trays. My girls have no idea that peach (or pear or plum) sauce is any less common that applesauce. In fact, they love it, and what a healthy snack! And, this same method can be used as baby food for the under 1 crowd. : )

    Lisette´s last blog post..

    • I love the sippy cup idea! My kids are huge milk drinkers. Though we rarely get close to an expiration date on our dairy since they eat it so much.

      Holly´s last post…$5 Food Storage

  28. Rachel, I just wanted to add that I appreciate your posts. None of us are perfect and sometimes life “happens” and prevents us from doing all that we’d like to do. I love your informative, yet non-judgmental approach in what you share without making one feel like they must be the perfect homemaker, etc. Thank you.

  29. Angela Pearl says:

    That is a great idea. I always have one to two spoonfuls of vegetables left and I could make a soup. thanks

  30. I use the ice cube trays for everything. Spinach that is soon to go bad gets chopped up and put in ice cube trays to add to stir-fry dishes, coconut milk not finished in a recipe gets frozen in cubes. Sometimes I even freeze my regular milk right before I go on a trip (knowing it will go bad if it just sits in my freezer) and use it for coffee or recipes after I return from the trip!

    CC´s last post…Marvelous Children’s Book Monday: George and the Dragon

  31. We’re moving from Japan probably this fall, so this is a big challenge for me – I’ve done too much Costco-ing and have cans of creamed soups etc. that I really need to think of uses for. Looking forward to the challenge – I think I could get really creative with this.

    If I make too much cornbread, I put it in squares in the freezer to use later crunched up on top of casseroles. I always freeze small portions of leftover meals because I have two little beans, ages 3 and 1, and they love anything over rice. Easy lunches for them. I freeze leftover bread to use in bread pudding or to make breadcrumbs.

    Unusually, I had a Mickey D’s iced coffee the other day, and when I remembered your post about it, I couldn’t drink another sip – only had about half of it. Bleck.

  32. Oh, another tip – if I buy lemons, limes, or oranges to use the fruit or the juice, I try to always zest them first and freeze the zest to use in baking or meals later. Grated lime zest is awesome in yogurty garlic chicken.

  33. Yes, one more thought – leftover (unsweetened) cornbread is wonderful in homemade cornbread stuffing (onions, celery, sage, salt, pepper, butter, chicken bouillon). (I’m not a fan of sweet cornbread, btw.)

  34. I agree that our grandparents, who lived through the Depression and WW2, could teach our generation a thing or two about being wasteful! Here’s an idea I got from my grandmother—if you have leftover roast beef but not enough for another meal, simmer it in beef broth with potatoes, onions, carrots and celery. Make some dumplings or noddles (or use packaged egg noodles) for some beef and noodle soup! I tried it and it actually didn’t taste like “left-over.”

  35. This is a great post with some fab tips.
    Only thing I could add is to menu plan and plan to use up “leftovers”. For example, when we have meat, veg, potatoes, I always cook too much veg and tatties so I can bake them is a cheese sauce the next night. A simple seven day list on the fridge gives me ideas for the week – I don’t have to eat them in the order I’ve written them down but it is a relief to look at it and think, oh, yeah, options for tonight are salmon or veg lasagne from the freezer.
    Karen (Scotland)

  36. Shannan says:

    I freeze meals for my husband’s lunch and dinner (he works afternoons). I also freeze things like wine, egg whites (good to cook with once thawed), grated cheese, homemade breadcrumbs, even cream (good to cook with).

    I keep a small dry erase board on the freezer (it has a magnet on back) and write every meal and things like meat we have in there, so if a meal comes out of the freezer, it gets crossed off the list. It can become a place of no return if we don’t keep a list.

  37. These are great ideas! I have a website (in progress) entitled Stockpile Cooking (www.stockpilecooking.com). I like to focus on recipes that you can make with ingredients purchased at deep discounts with coupons. Learning to stretch seasonal items further will really help with the variety of recipes.

    I am confused about one thing.. Leftover wine? Never heard of it!

    Alicia´s last post…Kids Eat FREE on Thursday at Captain D’s

  38. My husband takes all the leftovers for lunches. As soon as dinner is over I package them in reusable containers in lunch sized portions. I also plan my meals so that he will always have leftovers to take. Any “extra” leftovers I throw in the freezer. This saves money on lunches and no wasting food.

    Emily´s last post…Flashack Friday 2005

    • I am single, cheap, and health-conscious, so given that I prefer to always eat my own cooking. So I always plan for freezable leftovers when I cook. I use write-on label stickers, and always include the date & the meal inside.

  39. Thanks for the tips on wasting less. I especially like the one about squeezing lemon and lime juice into ice trays. How refreshing would it be to add a lemon ice cube to a glass of water on a hot summer day? :)

    Stephanie´s last post…How to Start A Blog (in 3 steps)

  40. Love this list! I have been taking baby steps in learning how to limit what we throw away! I actually inspired while jumping on the “Make your own baby food” train. I got so used to freezing for my baby boy that it got me thinking about how much I could be freezing for us adults.

    Thanks again. I just found your blog and love it and am a fellow Dallas-ite.

    Sara´s last post…First Birthday Ideas

  41. You know how items tend to become lost in the back of the fridge? It might be convenient to get cheap mirrors and some of that double-sided puffy tape, and stick the mirrors to the back inside of the fridge. That would make it harder for elusive food items to hide. Obviously the mirrors would have to be put in with some tact to avoid looking sloppy.

  42. I’ve started putting breakfast cereals in Ziplocs or Tpeerware to avoid the “Mom! My cereal is soggy!”.

    FranticMommy´s last post…Spotlight on Sweet Irie

  43. ..oops I mean TUPPERWARE

    FranticMommy´s last post…Spotlight on Sweet Irie

  44. Mom2Two says:

    Hi,

    Great ideas on saving food. We have a Saturday/Sunday morning ritual of making eggs and using as many left overs as possible for our brunch. Omelets with left over veggies, cheese (that might soon go bad), and sausages, etc.

    Freezing is big as well: Before leaving for a recent vacation I froze fruits, and other leftover food. It was great to have food ready to eat when we came back from being away a whole week.

  45. All of these ideas are great! I try my hardest not to waste food. I save my bruised fruit and cut them up and cook them in my oatmeal- I had peach oatmeal this morning- it was great. I wrote about making homemade granola bars from stale cookies here: http://happycheapskate.blogspot.com/2009/07/homemade-granola-bars.html

    I often take whatever random small amounts of cheese, vegetables, whatever that I have that I’m not using up, and make a pasta bake out of them. Anything mixed with a bunch of pasta, sauce and topped with cheese is tasty. Another thing I like to do is take those leftover ingredients (this works well with deli meats and things like that) and put them in a crustless quiche… serve w/ homemade bread and salad and for the cost of a few eggs you have a nice meal.

    Happy Cheapskate´s last post…Shopping with Pepper and Diva

  46. I have a suggestion nobody has mentioned yet. When we have a whole chicken (either home-baked or from the deli counter) we save the carcass (and with the frozen ones, necks and organs) and put them in a ziploc in the freezer. When the bag is full (usually 3 to 4 chickens), it’s time to make chicken broth! I make mine with carrots, celery, and onion, cut into about 1 inch lengths, and add water to cover the veggies and chicken. Then you just cook it until the veggies taste completely bland (that way you know you got all the ‘good’ out of them) adding water as needed, and then cool a bit and strain into another pan. From there, you can freeze, bottle & can, make soup, or whatever! Homemade chicken broth is a lot better than the canned stuff, and a LOT less salt!

    • To expand on the carcass idea – I read (somewhere! Can’t remember where) where someone would save all of their fresh vegetable cuttings to put in their soup stocks. When they trimmed the skin off of onions, they saved that to put in the soup. Likewise with the carrot and celery tops.

      When I did it, I saved up all of my cuttings in a freezer bag until I had enough to make in the stock of what I would usually do with the whole vegetable.

      They claimed the taste was better. While I can’t attest to that (I’ve only done it once so far and didn’t compare the two side by side), it tasted fine to me.

      • Oops! I meant to say used in stock or broth – not soup. This method is best when you are going to be straining the solids out anyway.

  47. Our tip for wasting not: Friday Night Pizza Night! It’s a big hit in our house, but more than just fun, you’d be shocked at what you can throw on a pizza. Just keep pizza dough on hand in the fridge or freezer, and pizza sauce (again, can be mass quantities frozen or canned) and the rest is whatever we’ve got. A good way to use up little bits of assorted cheeses, the inevidable too many extra veggies (mushrooms, peppers, etc.), little portions of meat. We’ve gotten real creative before with toppings such as a yogurt and cream cheese based sauce, any fruit or veggie you can name, the list goes on and on. If the concept of mixing it all together isn’t appetizing, do what the local pizzaria would do, half chicken with carrots, half sausage with hash browns, or whathave you. Friday night is right before our weekly grocery shopping, so we are able to to get out any leftovers, take stock of what we have on hand, and make a few extra slices to heat up for lunch the next day before heading to the grocery store (therefore fending off the grocery store hunger that so many above have warned us of).

    Ginger´s last post…Tuesday Tip: Air Conditioner Location

  48. Rachel, I LOVE the frozen lemon/lime juice/wine idea!
    I actually just whipped up a little list to help me keep track of leftovers as they often get lost in the fridge in my house.
    Here it is:
    http://gidgetgoeshome.com/2009/07/10/its-the-absolute-ultimate-21-keeping-track-of-leftovers/

    Nicole aka Gidget´s last post…May, June, July Memory Verses

  49. Instead of tossing them, I keep a freezer bag full of carrot ends, celery leaves & onion ends. I use them to make vegetable stock. This has saved me a ton of money, and it tastes better!

    Mrs. Smith´s last post…To Do: LIQUIDATE!!

  50. Right on! Love my freezer and keep track of everything – there are many items that I freeze as soon as we open and use it, like pepperoni, cooked bacon, hot dogs…I just know I’ll “forget” they’re in the fridge until they’re green. In the freezer, I can check my list and plan them into meals when they fit best.

    Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship´s last post…Monday Mission: Conserve Energy with your Oven/Stove

  51. My trick for most everything is the fridge! I have NEVER had a box of cereal go stale in the fridge even after being opened for months. So many of our dry opened goods go in the fridge and they seem to stay fresh for so long!

  52. Freezing wine to reuse to simmering meat dishes or spaghetti sauce is my favourite!

  53. I hate to waste food. Cheeses freeze well. Also, when bananas are too ripe to eat and you don’t have time to bake with them right away, put them in the freezer and use them later for banana bread or muffins. We occasionally have “eat down the pantry week.” We try to come up with funky ways to use up the things that have been hiding for awhile.

  54. Honestly evaluate the amount of food your family needs in a day or week, depending on how you shop, and buy only that amount.

  55. Leftover WINE? That’s like leftover cake. Does not exist.

  56. I think my biggest reduction in waste comes from keeping my fridge cleaned out. That, and doing meal planning. I shop every 2 weeks only, and so it kinda forces me to plan my meals. Planning them ahead of time means I can use ingredients for multiple dishes. Keeping a cleaned out fridge helps a lot in reducing or eliminating food waste, too.

    We never seem to have a problem with leftovers, since that’s what we usually do for lunch, but I do have a tendency to waste the “raw materials” if I don’t be careful.

    The nice thing is – when we DO have leftovers that go a little too, my chickens are happy to eat them and recycle them into fresh eggs for me :)
    Bethany´s last post…Foodsaver Reviews – The Foodsaver Vacuum Sealer V2840