10 ways to reduce, reuse and recycle your groceries
Do you end up throwing away hundreds of dollars worth of food every year? Many of us do. To prevent this, here are ten easy tips to help you manage your food budget, intake and waste.
1. Buy less
Only buy food you know you and your family will eat. Consider making a list of those foods before you go out so you don’t forget anything or confuse an item for another item that may not end up getting eaten.
2. Shop less frequently
The less frequently you shop, the more money you will save, and most likely, the less food you will end up throwing away. If someone doesn’t find their “go-to” snack or cooking ingredients in their pantry, they’ll utilize other food items in the house that would otherwise go to waste.
3. Don’t be so quick to throw produce away
Even if a vegetable or fruit appears to be past its prime, you can still make use of it. Some produce can even be revived by soaking them in water. Many vegetables can be used in soup or stew even after they have appeared to expire. Oxidized bananas are perfect for banana bread! But if the produce starts to decompose and smell, consider getting rid of them….
When you do get rid of your unused produce or produce remains, consider composting them. Composting eliminates much of the waste produced in your household and is beneficial for the environment. Let your vegetables and fruit decompose naturally instead of in a landfill.
5. Freeze leftovers
Leftovers get thrown away so often because they are left in the refrigerator for too long. If you freeze them, they can last for months.
6. Store leftovers properly
If you don’t feel like freezing leftovers, and feel your family will continuously eat from them throughout the week, at least store them properly in the fridge. Make sure they are stored air tight with containers and not simply placed in the fridge exposed to the air. Doing this can make most meals last a couple of days longer, if not more. Also, allow for your food to cool down before putting it away so it stays safe to eat later.
7. Incorporate leftovers into tonight’s dinner
Not enough fresh food in your house, but plenty of leftovers? Consider incorporating part of your leftovers into your next dinner to have a full meal. No need to go shopping just yet.
8. Repurpose food
Make use of food that you wouldn’t typically eat. Grated lemon and orange peels, for example, can be used to enhance the flavor of sauces, chicken, drinking water and much more.
9. Plan a meal ahead
Cook for more than one meal at a time and save it for later. Whether it be cooking a full chicken and eating some of it today and saving cut-up bits for tomorrow’s salad, or preparing a completely different meal for the next few days, doing so can help you eat out less often. When you’re too lazy to cook and you know there’s a perfectly good meal waiting for at home, and not just leftovers, you’re less likely to spend money on takeout.
10. Shop at less grocery stores
Try to limit yourself to just one, maybe two, grocery stores. You’ll save time, gas and inevitably money.
Decreasing your food waste is vital for the sustainability of the environment and vital for your savings. Consider the steps above and start to live a more efficient and environmentally safer life!
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