We have a major problem with food waste. A shameful percentage of our food–up to 40%–is wasted every year. Start learning how to avoid food waste now so that you develop better habits for the future. You never know when every scrap of food might count.
Always Make a Plan
Meals should no longer be spur-of-the-moment, “I don’t know, what do you want?” events. If you don’t already plan your family’s meals for a week or more at a time, then it’s past time to start. When you know what everyone will be eating, it allows you to shop smarter, plan to eat leftovers, and avoid wasting food.
Serve Smaller Portions
Most of us eat too much–and prepare even more food than we can eat. Minimize leftovers and eventual spoilage by planning smaller meals. You should also put less on your plate since we often scrape what’s left straight into the trash.
Not only is this a good habit to prevent wastage, but it’ll also keep your waistline from expanding.
Did you make too much steamed broccoli last night? Chop up the leftovers for an omelet this morning. If you didn’t finish all the grilled chicken, make soup or top a salad with the leftover meat. You don’t have to make a giant casserole and live on it for a week–it’s better (and more satisfying) to be a little creative in the kitchen.
Learn to Make Stock
Homemade stock and broth have become trendy, but it’s always been a smart way to use up meat bones, vegetable scraps, and other bits and pieces. Boil beef or poultry bones in a large stockpot along with vegetables and herbs to create a delicious, calorie-dense broth you can store in mason jars.
Put Dates on Your Leftovers
Food doesn’t stay fresh forever–but some of it won’t go bad as quickly as you might think. Write the date on all of your leftovers, regardless of whether they’re headed to the fridge, freezer, or pantry. And take the time to actually learn how long food will stay fresh and safe to eat.
When All Else Fails, Compost
You have a compost heap, right? A big part of survival is growing your own food, and a compost heap is key. Put your vegetable scraps (no meat–ever) on your compost heap, and then use the compost to help grow more vegetables. It’s a win-win for everybody when you don’t waste food.