Eliminate Your Food Waste With This Tactic
40% of food goes to waste. Not only is that wasteful for the environment but this is also wasteful towards your wallet.
I have searched for countless ways to eliminate my food waste. Yes sometimes it requires to eat some meals that are a little repetitive.
Other times it required to look at how many ingredients in a recipe can cross over to other ingredients.
Yes our system can be set up in ways that will cause us to have more food waste (hot dogs buns that come in packs of 8 and selling hot dogs in packs of 10 should be illegal). There are ways to assure that you will be getting the most out of the food you do buy.
Meal planning doesn’t necessarily have to be meal prepping. Remember that. Some people like cooking every day and if you have the time to do that and want to that’s amazing. But having a plan of what you are going to eat throughout the week can be a game changer to cut down on your grocery list.
I use Paprika to meal prep out. There is a little front load of work to do and it can be a little overwhelming to put all the recipes in there that work for you. It doesn’t have to be. I would suggest just putting like 15 recipes in there to start. Like 5 for breakfast, 5 for lunch and 5 for dinner. As you go along start adding to the recipes and eventually it will become much easier.
Treat Your Groceries Like You Have A Dialed-In Supply Chain
At least once a month, take inventory of how much food you have, especially the nonperishables. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve double purchased on rice or beans. It may not seem like a big deal at the time but if you are crunched for pantry space, this can become a big deal.
Know How To Keep Your Food Fresh Longer
There’s a plethora of technics that you can use to keep food fresher longer. Here’s a link to get my guide for keeping foods fresh longer.
Here’s a couple techniques.
Use Mason Jars: The versitility of mason jars almost seems endless. From storing any leftovers to keeping produce fresh, mason jars are not only the Swiss Army knife of Tupperware, they’re also cheaper than Tupperware as well. Why would you spend $25 on a new glass Tupperware when you can get a quart sized mason jar for $3–4?
- Storing milk in glass can keep it fresher longer. This is due to glass being more conductive to cold temperatures. Since glass itself gets cold, it also keeps the contents inside it colder as well. If you buy milk in the store in a cardboard container or plastic, transfer it to a glass on when you open it and get a pour handle for your mason jar (or a couple so you can make cold brew coffee as well).
- Mason jars also keep your Tupperware more uniform in your fridge. Since they tend to hold more vertical space versus normal Tupperware, you’ll be able to use more of that vertical space in your fridge.
I personally use mason jars for any leftovers that call for it. I’ll use them to meal prep a greek yogurt breakfast to be ready on the go or use it for an egg scramble that I made the night before that needs to be reheated. Any empty mason jars, you can use them as glasses as well.
Know What Foods To Store Together: Never store bananas next to your onions. Also never store your onions next to potatoes. Bananas are one of those foods that produces a lot of ethylene gas and can cause fruits and veggies around them to ripen faster.
The typical rule of thumb is to keep bananas away from everything. Also, keep apple next to potatoes as apples can help keep potatoes fresher longer since the gasses they produce actually prevent the potatoes from sprouting.
Know How To Put A Freeze By Date On Certain Foods: Are you sick of tossing left over rice or any grains because you cooked too much? Rice can keep for about 3–4 days in the fridge. Instead of tossing the rice, freeze it and make fried rice later on to reheat it. You can do this with tons of vegetables as well. Broccoli, onions, carrots, beets, almost anything that is a root vegetable freezes extremely well after cooking.
Any fruits that you feel are about to spoil, chop them up and throw them into a freezer bag for smoothies later.
Freeze herbs in an ice tray and save them for later. Cilantro has been the biggest hack for me since typically I’ll cook cilantro into rice when I make a taco bowl.
Some Foods Can Grow: I eat green onions all the time yet I’ve only bought them once in the last month. How? You can hydroponically grow green onions from the store in a glass filled with a little water. Yes some of the stems may die but many of them actually grow! This little hack has helped me consistently have a supply of green onions and the days of me seeing them spoil two days after buying them is over.
I’ve tested the same thing with herbs like basil and mint and the same concept applies. Put the stems into a small glass of water and it will keep them fresher and they may start to grow. I’ve had basically start to grow roots in the water before after putting it in water.
Food waste is awful. Not only do you feel guilty about throwing away bad food because it doesn’t go to someone who needed it but it’s also bad for the planet.
Our system currently doesn’t optimize food waste in the best way. The natural cycle of food waste is supposed to be that it gets put into the ground and compost.
Currently our food gets mixed in with plastics and all our other garbage that doesn’t allow the natural cycle to exist in land fills. Think of it as a disruption of the microbiome of the planet.
We don’t have a great composting system built world wide (yet). The best way to eliminate food waste is to try to reduce the amount of waste you produce in the first place.
Use these tips to not only eliminate your food waste but also save money in the process. I’ve cut my grocery bill in half since I started using these tips.