If you find yourself constantly throwing away expired groceries and untouched leftovers, then consider these nine ways to improve your food storage techniques, meal planning, and shopping habits! Discover applicable ways to avoid the expensive habit of wasting food, while keeping your belly full and reducing your carbon footprint!
1. Be Careful With Perishable Items
It’s easy to over-buy perishable items, especially if you’re attempting to buy fresh, local, or start a new diet. Fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, and meats can be highly nutritious and more delectable than their frozen alternatives.
However, they are more likely to expire within days, or weeks, of purchasing them. So try buying fewer perishable items when grocery shopping, and you'll likely consume it all before anything begins to decay. Once you try this, you'll be able to better estimate the amount of perishable items to buy on future trips.
2. Plan Your Meals and Make a List
Meal planning is an excellent option for those seeking to lose weight or keep track of their nutrition. And if you meal prep, you’ll know exactly what to buy at the grocery store, and how much.
Though it’s tempting to buy a ton of groceries every couple of weeks, it’s far better to visit the supermarket several times throughout the week for smaller trips. So we suggest getting to know your local supermarket.
Buy enough food to make two days’ worth of meals, then return to the store to buy more ingredients for your next batch of meals. You might find that you like to buy different food groups from different stores as well. And, you can introduce greater variety to your meals by exploring different recipes this way. Consider incorporating trips to the local farmers market to support local vendors as well.
Improperly stored food is bound to expire far more quickly than well-kept food. Most food storage principles can be summed up with a few fundamental rules:
Keep foods out of the temperature danger zone.
Raw foods should always sit below cooked items.
Food should be covered in air-tight containers when refrigerated.
5. Freeze Your Foods
One of the worst foodie feelings is seeing an expensive purchase go bad before you had the chance to eat it. If you’re planning on buying an excess amount of perishable foods, it may be a good idea to freeze the extras.
While freezing foods for extended periods of time can reduce their quality, proper storage and freezing can maintain the shelf life of your perishable foods, and buy you more time before having to cook it.
Growing your own herbs, vegetables, and fruits is a fantastic way to develop a new hobby!
You’ll save money, appreciate the hands-on experience, and reap the tasty, fresh benefits for as long as you continue to grow. Backyard gardens are an excellent way to eat healthily, reduce food waste, and save thousands of dollars every year on grocery bills. Plus, you don’t need much area to get started!
7. Clean Your Fridge and Pantry Regularly
There may be a few canned foods in your pantry that you haven’t touched, or seen, in years. That’s not a great way to reduce your food waste! Consider donating unused canned goods to a canned food drive near you.
Not only will proper maintenance and cleaning keep your appliances and pantry clean, but you’ll also be more likely to eat what you buy and produce less waste. After all, you don’t want to have mold and food waste piling up at the same time!
8. Portion Your Meals and Eat Leftovers
If you’re an individual who lives alone, grocery shopping can be a challenge. Many snacks, pre-packaged meals, and even bagged fruits are designed for families.
By following these simple tips and tricks, you could save thousands of dollars every year on food expenses! Also, you’ll get to enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that your habits and lifestyle do not contribute to any food waste.
The first step towards avoiding expensive food waste is identifying your dining habits and deciding what things you could change. After that, the world — as they say — is your oyster!