11 Tips For Reducing Food Waste And Living A More Sustainable Life

It’s estimated that 40% of all food produced in the world is wasted. The reality is, we waste tons of money and resources when it comes to our food production, but there are a lot of ways you can reduce your own personal contribution by following these tips.

1) Plan Your Meals

It’s always a good idea to have an agenda when you’re shopping, but you also need to know what you’re cooking. By checking the supermarket offers and having everything on hand before heading out of the door, we’d all save time and money in our kitchens. You’ll also be less likely to throw things out that you bought on a whim and didn’t end up using before the due date.

2) Freeze Leftovers

A freezer is a great way to save afresh, healthy food. You can use it for meal prep, stews and even making soup at home.

3) Cook The Right Serving Amounts

If you’re cooking for two, consider cutting the recipe in half to avoid wasting your time with leftovers. 

4) Buy The Weird Veggies

You’re in luck because sometimes, supermarkets discard produce. Do yourself a favour and give your grocer the once over to see when they sell strange-shaped or ugly fruits and vegetables. You may save some cash while helping reduce food waste.

5) Use The Old First

As you put food away, make sure to use the old items before using the new ones. For shelf-stable foods like mayonnaise, that are not refrigerated until opening them, keep them out of the fridge. You also need to consume within a week once they’re open, so they don’t spoil!

6) Have A Leftover Day

The idea of a leftovers night is genius. There are so many tasty dishes that you can enjoy, even just with what’s leftover from the week before. This will also give you more time to spend on other things.

7) Conduct An Inventory Regularly

You’ll save money and time by making a list of your favorite dishes and noting what ingredients are needed for each dish. Go through the fridge or pantry so you don’t miss anything.

Before shopping, it might be good to take inventory of everything you have. That way, if something is missing from this week’s meal plan, you can quickly grab it while grocery shopping instead of forgetting about it.

8) Use Scraps Wisely

A good way to reduce your waste is by composting food scraps. If you do not have a backyard, there are still options for reducing the amount of rubbish that goes to landfill. You could make a broth with your leftover vegetable scraps, or use it as fertiliser.

9) Learn Proper Storage Techniques

There is a right way and a wrong place to store each item that you purchase. Get the most use out of what you buy by being informed about how your items should be stored correctly from day one. That way, you can ensure they don’t get ruined before their time.

10) Preserve Your Own

You might think that cabbage is only for salads. But have you tried making it into sauerkraut? It is a great way to preserve and make the most of the vegetable before it goes off. You can preserve, can, or pickle lots of different foods to extend their shelf life.

11) Eat Expired Food

It’s not uncommon for fresh food to be good well past the date it was made. A lot of people don’t know this, but most expiration dates are more about when stores need to sell them by, than any sort of safety warning.

Many foods indeed have an “expiration” or a “sell-by” date on their packaging and cans. However, these labels refer specifically to retailers who must remove them from shelves if they remain unsold after some prearranged amount of time has passed. What few realise is that just because something expires, doesn’t mean you should throw it out. Most canned goods will keep safely in storage at cool temperatures until as long as seven days after their original sale date.

Managing food waste

With a little planning and thought, you can eliminate most food waste. But why stop there? You should consider reducing clothing waste too! For other sustainability hints and tips, check out the Life In Full Flavour blog

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