An estimated one-third of all food goes uneaten in the U.S. There's a lot wrong with that much food waste in juxtaposition to how many people are struggling to afford food. And we all know that it's easy to do our part in being more food responsible at home.
But of course, days get away from us too fast. Weeks fly by. We let a lot go to waste because we forget. It doesn't have to become a bad habit though. We can all be more food conscious.
Need some inspiration to make less food waste? Here are 40 ways to reduce your foodprint on a daily basis.
- Shop more often.
- But buy less each time.
- Buy just for the next few meals.
- Make a list.
- Never ever shop when you're starving.
- Or drunk. Or stoned.
- And you're less likely to overbuy.
- Always check expiry dates.
- Make meal plan for the week.
- Sticking to a meal plan can make you more efficient at using ingredients.
- And it can take stress out of cooking.
- Keep a list on your refrigerator of all the fruits and veggies in the bins.
- Make sure to use them and scratch them off the list when done.
- Pre-cook items at the beginning of the week so most of the work is done:
- Steam veggies.
- Prepare rice or quinoa.
- Soak and cook beans.
- Make veggie broth.
- Homemade salad dressing (which is way cheaper to make than buying the bottled stuff and is super easy, too).
- Cut fruits.
- Then you can use these pre-made ingredients throughout the week with less cooking time.
- Date and freeze leftovers if you haven't eaten them in two days.
- Keep staples on hand so you can always make a bowl of rice or noodles or beans to go with whatever veggies you may have going bad.
- Cut soft fruits and freeze for smoothies.
- Or baby food.
- Or make preserves.
- Or bake up some fruity muffins for the office.
- And while you're at, bring your own lunch, especially when you have leftovers.
- Make kale chips.
- Avocados make a great facial.
- So does oatmeal.
- Learn to pickle vegetables.
- Buy less junk food so you'll eat the fresh stuff instead before it goes bad.
- Don't overfill your plate (or bowl).
- Get seconds if you're still hungry, but don't waste it on the plate.
- Use cooked oatmeal in baked goods.
- Or pancakes.
- Freeze fresh herbs in olive oil in ice cube trays for use later.
- Condiment share! Sounds hokey but if it takes you a year to use a jar of mustard, see if a friend or neighbor wants to split one.
- Same with perishable items.
- Check out what leftovers are in your neighborhood with this app and chip in on a communal meal.
- Turn stale bread into crumbs or stuffing.
- Random veggies often make for a delicious pot of soup.
- So do beans.
- Keep "versatile" snacks on hand like nuts, seeds and dried fruit because they can also go into a number of recipes.
- Donate uneaten foods to shelters or food drives.
- Compost your veggie scraps.
- Regrow your veggie scraps!
- Make good food!
- Share good food!
Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger
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Image: Alex Campos