An estimated 40% of wasted food in the US comes from our homes. Try a new strategy for reducing food waste in your kitchen to save money, time, and, most importantly, food!
Preventing food waste can be the first and easiest daily habit to modify. We can all do our part to love food and reduce waste.
Strategies for Reducing Food Waste at Home
Plan & Prep
Create a realistic meal plan: Plan your meals and the quantity of food you'll need in advance to prevent over-buying ingredients.
Make shopping trips fun: On one of your grocery shopping days, find imperfect produce that may look weird on the outside but still delicious on the inside. Some stores have a particular area for discounted items – just ask!
Incorporate existing ingredients: Try out recipes that combine ingredients you have on-hand. Check out Big Oven or King County’s Food: Too Good to Waste Recipe Box to search for recipes
Stick to your shopping list: Buy only what is on your shopping list.
Prep food for later: Prep and store ingredients to save time and keep food fresh.
You can eat that, too!: Try out recipes that use the produce parts that are typically thrown away, such as carrot tops, broccoli stalks, celery leaves, beets greens, cilantro stems, mushroom stems, etc.
Food Storage & Date Labels
What is forgotten in your fridge?: Test your flexibility by reaching into the back of the fridge and use a forgotten (but still good) item in your next meal.
Portion your leftovers: Whether in the fridge or the freezer, store leftover food or ingredients in meal-sized portions using clear containers. Use your freezer to store ingredients you will not use right away.
Using leftovers in new recipes: Come up with ways to reinvent leftovers with new recipes – enjoy a fun challenge to use what you have!
Freeze what you can’t finish
Store food to preserve freshness: Use a food storage guide to find the best way to store your produce to maximize its freshness.
Date labels are about the best quality, not safety. Check out the USDA’s Food Product Dating Fact Sheet and learn how you can identify if food has gone bad instead of relying on date labels.