Saving food, saving money

In the U.S., we throw out millions of tons of food each year. Most people have thrown out food that spoiled or was simply never eaten. This harms the environment because it adds up to more waste, and it’s also harmful to your budget. It’s a lot like throwing money in the garbage! In addition, some of that wasted food could have gone to people who don’t have enough to eat.

 

Shopping, planning, saving

The number one way to stop wasting food is to plan meals and shop for only those meals. You’ll need to make a shopping list and stick to it when you go to the store.

 

Your list should have ingredients for all your meals, including main dishes, sides, drinks and snacks. Then, buy only what’s on the list. This requires some extra time and planning, but the savings can add up.

 

Some people like to shop for the whole week, while others shop for only a few days at a time. This is up to you. No matter how you like to shop, having a list can save you money and cut down on food waste.

 

In the end, your budget and the environment will thank you. As an added bonus, you will be eating healthier by planning your meals ahead of time.

 

Keep the pantry organized

Have you ever bought a can of beans, only to find that you already had three at home? Having an organized pantry can help avoid this.

 

Try putting your pantry into sections. You may wish to divide up canned foods into categories like fruit, vegetables, beans and other foods. Have another section for pasta, one for rice and so on. Being able to quickly glance at the pantry when you’re making your shopping list can save time and prevent buying duplicates.

 

Other tips to prevent food waste

•  Buying bulk portions can be a big saving – but only if you eat it. Only buy these large portions if you plan to use or freeze it all before it expires.

•  Eat leftovers! Have a leftover dinner night, rather than cooking another meal. Get creative and use leftovers to make a casserole, soup or sandwiches.

•  Check your fridge first. Before you go shopping, see what you already have in your fridge. Eat what you have on hand before buying more.

•  Ask local food banks about their needs. Donate food that you don’t think you will use instead of throwing it away.

 

Source: Environmental Protection Agency

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