Did you know that the amount of food wasted in a year is more than it would take to feed nearly 1 billion hungry people throughout the world? Now that is a lot of food we're just throwing in the trash! We might not realize it but we waste a lot of food, and there are ways we not only can save money and energy, but we can save the environment too. These tips will help you cut back on the amount of food you waste.
Start practicing FIFO.
FIFO stands for first in, first out. When you come home from the grocery store with new food, make sure to put the older food in the front. This way, you'll know what has been in the fridge the longest and are able to eat that food first. You'll be able to eat the food before it expires this way.
Make one night a week a “left over night.”
Instead of making a new meal every night of the week, make one meal a week a "left over night." This way you can eat up any food from the nights before so it doesn't go bad. Plus, that means you don't have to spend time making an extra meal.
Keep Your fridge between 35 and 38 degrees.
To make sure the food in your fridge stays as fresh as possible for as long as possible, keep the temperature of your fridge between 35 and 38 degrees.
And make sure your fridge is far enough away from the wall.
This may sound a little strange, but believe us, it's true. To make it easier for the fridge to keep your food cold, keep your fridge about 1 to 2 inches away from the wall.
Take note of what you throw away each week.
Do you always find yourself throwing out moldy bread? If you do, maybe try freezing half. This way, you'll be able to eat the bread you normally eat and have the part you normally throw out in the freezer for safe keeping.
Start using reusable produce bags.
You've heard of reusable grocery bags right? Well, there are reusable produce bags that act in the same way. If you eat a lot of veggies and fruit, chances are you're throwing away a lot of plastic produce bags. Instead, buy reusable bags. The bags are well aerated so the food lasts longer, and the mesh keeps away fruit flies. You're getting your produce to last longer and reducing plastic waste, what's better than that?!
Before heading to the store, see what you have.
Not only will this help you avoid buying things you don't need, but it will also help with planning meals. Do you have a bag of spinach that's about to go bad? Plan one of your meals around that bag of spinach so it won't go to waste. By looking to see what you have, you're able to use up all that forgotten food.
Learn what you can and can’t recycle.
Of course it's easier to not worry about it and just throw it in the trash can, but what is that doing for our environment?! Once you learn what you can recycle, it becomes easy and your brain will automatically do it. You can check out this chart for a reference on what can and cannot be recycled.
Hold on to spare ingredients.
If you're only using half of something for a recipe, don't just throw out the rest. You could either double the recipe and keep half in the freezer, or you could use that ingredient in another dish.
Buy foods that are multipurpose.
If you buy lunch meat for sandwiches, use some in omelets or salads too. Buy foods you know you can use in more than one way. This way, you won't get sick of eating the same thing and you're able to use the food before it spoils.
Store things better for longer lasting food.
Chips, cookies, cereal, they all seem to get stale rather quickly if we don't store them properly. To make sure your favorite snack foods last longer, try storing them in air tight containers. This way they won't get as stale as they would in the bag.
Make sure you’re getting the most out of your oven.
Is your oven properly insulated and updated? To find out for sure, you can use an oven thermometer to check the temperature or you can actually use sugar. Bake one tablespoon of sugar at 354 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the other tablespoon at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The batch baked at the 375 should crystalize. This is a good way to see if your oven is really cranking out the heat you set it to.
Get food to go when dining out.
Many restaurants now a days give you enough food to feed two, if not more, people. Instead of just leaving a dish half eaten to be thrown away, get your leftovers to go. You won't be wasting food and you have a free meal for the next day. You could also order an appetizer for a smaller portion or split the food with someone else to cut back on waste.
Donate anything you won’t eat.
Do you have food just sitting in the pantry that you know you'll never eat? Donate it to a local shelter so someone who needs it can eat.