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Minimize Food Waste

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One of the cheapest ways to save on your food budget is to use a variety of techniques to use all of the food items you purchased. Some suggestions are below. If you have other suggestions, please leave a comment to share.

 

Below are 6 suggestions to minimize food waste. These tips are NOT part of the 10 Step Supermarket Combination Technique. They just provide some additional tips to consider.

 

1. Use a Menu

There are many benefits in working with a seasonal menu beginning with another way to minimize food waste. Start with a 2-week menu. There are many websites that provide info about seasonal fruits & veggies.

Menu Example

 

Resources to help with this:
  1. It saves money by preventing spur of the moment purchases
  2. It is a great time management technique
  3. You can eat healthier with a menu. Check out this free resource: Choose My Plate 10 Tips Nutrition Series
  4. Stops last minute grabbing what is available
  5. Include seasonal foods that are cheaper and taste better in season
  6. It is fun to include holidays, festivities, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

 

2. Leftover Night

Minimize food waste by having Leftover Night

Re-purpose Food

Many people provide way too much food and end up tossing some of it in the trash. Some people have so much food left that they cannot even eat all of the left overs. One way to minimize food waste is to have a Leftover Night.

 

Resources to help with portion sizes:
After you serve a meal, store ALL leftovers (that includes those that are less than a full serving). Stay within safety zones. Guidelines to keep foods safe:
  1. Store all leftovers in the same area of the fridge or post a note on the fridge door so you do not lose track of them.
    • Storage is another item that you should focus on to eliminate as much BPA as possible from your food usage. If you are interested, check out my article: Those Pesky Plastic Containers, which will be posted in January
  2. Remember to include leftovers that you bring home from restaurants.
  3. Arrange all leftovers on the table, and let everyone take their favorite leftovers to build their meal that night. It always feels good to see the container completely empty!

 

3. Make it Fun!

Make It Fun

At the end of the meal, make it fun by serving dessert (I don’t serve dessert every night). Only those who had leftovers get dessert.
  • Those who do not eat leftovers, do not get dessert.
  • It will not take long for everyone to know that they get dessert ONLY if they share the leftovers! And that will also help you to minimize food waste.
Desserts can be frugal and fun.

 

4. Freezer Use

Minimize food waste by freezing food

Freeze Food

As often as I can I use my freezer: I purposely bake once to eat twice and freeze the second meal because I already have the ingredients, especially when a recipe only calls for half of an onion or green pepper, etc. When my son was a teenager, I had everything I could do to keep up with his hunger. I never knew anyone could eat so much and never gain weight – and – he was ALWAYS hungry! I ended up buying a 16 foot cubic stand up freezer, which was one of the best things I have ever done. Even today, now that he has his own family and I’m by myself, that freezer still saves huge amounts of money.

 

5. Keep Foods Fresh Longer

Although I’m all about making foods last longer, I also like to keep foods fresh longer and I’m also keenly aware of keeping everything safely. Some great resources are:
Nothing is worse than getting food poisoning because you tried to keep foods longer than they should be kept. Another critical point to cover before we get into how to keep foods fresh longer is care of both your refrigerator and freezer.

 

6. Make Foods Go Farther

Keep in mind that someone has to pay to slice, shred, chop, form, and package food items such as sliced or shredded cheese, pre-formed meat patties or veggie patties, cube meats, chop or shred veggies, etc. Convenience costs money. Therefore, another way to minimize food waste is to make foods go farther by cutting, chopping, and so on yourself and then, put the money you save into your own savings account.

 

Personally, I prefer to pay myself and I have found ways to do those jobs in MINUTES.

 

Continue on to

10 Step Combination Technique

 

Take Action

TAKE ACTION: Defrost your freezer, be sure everything is appropriately labeled and dated, create an inventory as you enter the foods back into the freezer, and put the foods that will expire first toward the front as you return the foods.

 

Updated: August 8, 2015 — 9:03 pm

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