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This means, on average, the American consumer throws 30-40% of their food budget, literally, in the trash. Here are some ideas to keep your pretty pennies in your pocket instead by saving money and savoring food.
Save money on food waste with these simple tips.
- Buy what you need. No more.
- Avoid impulse buys. If you have no plans of eating it, you either probably won’t, or shouldn’t.
- Apply the theory of FIFO: First In, First Out. Consume the eggs you bought six days ago before the eggs you bought yesterday, and plan your meals accordingly, using up the products that are closer in time to ending up in the waste first.
- Eat, freeze, or even give away leftovers.
- Dedicate one meal (or more) per week to using up food products that are about to go bad.
- Make soups or smoothies out of soft fruits and wilted vegetables.
- Use everything! Peels, cores and stems, often discarded as waste, usually have additional nutrients, and if you put it through a blender – who would know that they are “waste products?” If you don’t think you would like the texture of seeds or peels, you can always decide to remove and compost.
- Use your nose! Huh? Yes! Smell and touch your foods to find out if they are fit for consumption or not. How do you know? Trust me, that when an egg, or milk has gone bad, there is no mistaking it!
- Don’t automatically discard food products that are past their “best by” dates: “Best by” dates are guidelines imposed by the supermarkets to inform you when the optimal time is to consume a product. It does not mean that a product that is past their “best by” dates is spoiled. Loop back to #7.
- Store food smarter. Use airtight containers, even for dry goods (keeps critters out of the kitchen too), and keep animal proteins (milk, eggs, cheese, meats, fish etc.) refrigerated.
Now, with the money saved, you can either pay off your loans, or treat yourself to a nice new set of golf clubs or a manicure!
This post was written by Eva Mossberg, a member of the SalemRecycles Committee.