How to not waste food
There is no life without food. This is a good opportunity to look closely at the problem of food waste. By and large, each of us contributes to this shameful problem to some extent.
Generally, we do not eat every last bite of the food stored in the fridge. In most cases, this is not because we are careless and wasteful, but because of habit.
We lead a busy lifestyle, as a result of which, we find ourselves constantly overwhelmed by many problems. Consequently, we do not plan our cooking properly nor do we store food the right way.
Here are 10 simple rules that will help you reduce the amount of food wasted at home and save money.
- Think in advance about what you’ll cook. Make a list of items you will need for the next few days. This practice will help you avoid wasting unused items during food preparation.
- Create a shopping list for the dishes you have planned. The list will help you buy only what you need. Try not to buy anything from outside the list.
- Do not buy more than you need. Buy the exact quantities of items you need to implement your cooking plan. Choose smaller packages and portions so that you can consume everything in time.
- It is better to buy more often but in lesser quantities than less often and in more quantities. Find a store that is suitable for your needs. It can be close to home or on the way home from work. Weekly shopping at the hypermarket doesn’t give you real savings. It is easier to save when we buy fewer products for a few days than for a whole week.
- Always check the expiration date of products, especially dairy products, meat, and fish, which have the shortest shelf life.
If the packaging has a “Use by” date, this is the date until which the product is safe for consumption (of course, provided it is properly stored and transported) and should not be exceeded.
The “Use before” date is the date of minimum durability. The product may lose its palatability, smell, and texture, but it will still be safe for consumption.
- Follow basic rules for storing food. Store meat, dairy products, and fish in a fridge or freezer and stick to expiration dates.
Some fruits and vegetables can be stored outside the fridge, e.g., tomatoes, cucumbers, bananas, avocados, pineapple, pumpkin, zucchini, pears, lemon, peach, orange, papaya, mango, kiwi, apples, lemons, potatoes, onions, and garlic.
Other produce such as carrots, radishes, kohlrabi, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, plums, grapes, leek, dill, and parsley will stay fresh longer if you store them in the fridge.
- Keep your pantry and fridge organized.
You can decrease food waste by organizing your pantry and fridge. The best way to organize your goods is by expiration date. Grocery stores follow the same method, i.e., products with a shorter shelf life are placed on the front shelf.
- Freeze food surplus. Most vegetables and fruits can be frozen. Just remember not to refreeze food that has been defrosted.
- Buy vegetables you don’t use frequently frozen instead of fresh. You can buy, for example, frozen corn, peas, green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and fruit. When you need to prepare a meal, you can pull out the exact amount you need from the freezer.
- Leftovers are tasty.
If you have some leftovers in the fridge, think about ways to reuse them, for example, in a soup or a one-pot meal. Such dishes often come out tasty.
You can spend the money you save to spend time with your family.