5 Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste at Home

See how easy it is to reduce food waste at home with these meal planning and food shopping tips.

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Did you know that the average American wastes one pound of food a day? 

It might not sound like a lot, but a pound looks like one pack of spaghetti, one stick of butter, a baseball, or even 20 AA batteries.  And that's what we each waste in a single day.

The average family will throw out over $1,500 in food waste per year.  What could you do with an extra $1,500? I bet anything you can think of is better than tossing it into your trash can, which is exactly what you're doing when you let food go unused.

Beyond the financial savings, reducing food waste can help our environment as well. The United Nations reports that one-third of the world's food is wasted every year, draining our planet's resources.

It's clear that we need to reduce food waste and the place to start is at home.  

The good news is that there are ways that you can reduce food waste at home getting organized when it comes to your meals and food storage. Keep reading to find out how!

How to Reduce Food Waste at Home

Start Meal Planning

Meal planning is the number one way that we can reduce food waste at home, even when you're a busy mom.

Meal planning gives you accountability for the food you buy, and also helps you make a plan to use it. You’ll be able to prepare for the meals you need and only shop for groceries that you can use for that week or month. Smart meal planning also allows you to plan for obstacles such as nights out and leftover nights, so you don’t buy more than you need. Get my favorite meal planning tips for busy moms here.

Organized moms know that meal planning does not have to be a chore. You can actually have someone do it for you, saving you time and money every week.

The Dinner Daily makes delicious dinners easy and affordable for busy families and couples with customized weekly dinner menus based on your store sales. Save $1,200 a year or more on grocery costs alone, not to mention the money you save not buying food that goes to waste.

I'm a huge fan of The Dinner Daily and have been using it for our family for years. Each week we get a customized meal plan and grocery list, which I can adjust as needed based on what we may have on hand or our schedule for the week. The meals are family friendly and simple to make with familiar ingredients, so you're not buying something you will use for one meal alone.

Click here to give The Dinner Daily a try FREE for 2 weeks and see how much you can save.

Plan for Leftovers

Leftovers are one of the most common ways that food is wasted in the home. While leftovers might make you think about physical meals you’ve made throughout the week, leftovers can also refer to leftover veggies or meat that never been used.

Rarely will you make a single recipe and use up the entire lot of ingredients you’ve bought. Instead, plan for leftovers to avoid food waste. Choose meals that will use your extra ingredients, and plan a leftover night to finish up any lingering meals you may have in the fridge.

For example, if you have salads one night, plan tacos for later in the week to use up any extra lettuce. Or think about roasting a whole chicken for dinner one night then turning leftover meat into sandwiches or soup for lunches.

Embrace Imperfection

Tons of food is goes to waste every day before it even makes it into our homes. Food that is deemed "imperfect" is rejected by stores for cosmetic reasons, even though it is perfectly good! These flaws may even just be in the packaging, not the food itself.

Fortunately, this food doesn't have to go to the trash. Instead, it can help you can save time and money when you sign up for grocery delivery from Imperfect Foods.

We've just started our deliveries and I am so excited about having my customized box of groceries delivered right to my door for less than it costs from the grocery store, and that I'm helping to reduce food waste at the same time!

Click here to learn more about Imperfect Foods and to save $10 off your first order!

Repurpose Food Scraps

Many of the food scraps you might think about throwing away can be repurposed in new ways. Instead of throwing out your veggie peels and scraps, keep them in a jar and use them to make vegetable stock. Leftover food can be put in a compost bin to be used as a natural fertilizer in your garden, which you can then use to grow vegetables for later meals. Get creative with your waste and find ways to avoid throwing it away.

Freeze, Freeze, Freeze!

The freezer does not get the attention it rightfully deserves when it comes to reducing food waste. Freezers extend the life of the food that we don’t have the time to eat just yet. You can freeze cheese, milk, and even meat to extend the life of your food

Click here for a huge list of foods that you can freeze (and some you can't).

If you can’t use up a food before it goes bad, freeze it and save it for another day.

Making freezer meals is another great way to plan your dinners and reduce food waste! Click here for my how to guide to getting started with freezer meals.

Want more? Get all my meal planning tips here!

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