Waste Less Food
The average American family throws out $1,600 worth of food a year. As seen on the Food Network’s special The Big Waste, food past its prime can be turned into a delicious meal. You can save money and help reduce food waste in America with just a few smart shopping and cooking tips from the experts at Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters. If you did not see the show look it up...it will shock you!
Shopping matters: Reducing food waste begins at the grocery store. Live by the motto “Buy what you need, and eat what you buy.” Always have a plan and a list before going grocery shopping. Check your pantry and fridge before you head to the store to make sure you’re buying what you really need.
Buy fresh produce a week at a time: Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in bulk only if you will use them before they go bad. If you are able to get to the grocery store weekly, buy only enough fresh produce to last that week.
Cook with canned and frozen fruits and vegetables: Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables can be a good solution if you aren’t sure you’ll be able to use up fresh foods before they go bad. Bonus: they are often more affordable than fresh and can be even more nutritious.
Stock your pantry: A well-stocked pantry can be the secret to whipping up a tasty meal from food that would otherwise go to waste. Read more about basic ingredients to keep on hand and get recipe ideas that utilize those ingredients.
Adapt recipes to your needs: Learn to adjust recipes to meet your needs and use up what’s in your fridge. Make changes to a recipe based on the foods you have at hand, including leftovers. Experiment to find new recipes and making those recipes work for you.
Make the freezer your friend: Freeze bread when it won’t be used right away, or if you have some leftover from a meal (bread can be stored in a freezer for up to 6 months). Freeze leftover vegetables for use in later soups or stir fries. Chop and store fresh fruits in freezer to use for smoothies.
Use up fresh fruit before it goes bad: Combine fruits into a fruit salad or top cereal with sliced fruit. Cook berries, apples or pears into a tasty crisp or cobbler. Use overripe fruit in muffins, breads, or pancakes.
Use up fresh vegetables before they go bad: Add vegetables to soups, stews, casseroles, pastas, sauces, or omelettes. Combine vegetables and a little salad dressing for a side dish or snack.
Transform leftovers into a new meal: Transform leftover mashed potatoes into a hearty soup by combining them with stock, a splash of vinegar, onions, carrots and any other veggies you have on hand. (I could live on the leftovers my kids toss! Grrrrrrr)
Stretch ingredients over multiple meals: Use ingredients more than once to save money and avoid food waste. Buying in bulk allows for stretching into individual meals...just repackage the bulk amount into smaller packages when you get it home. Add veggies to pasta or combine to make a mixed salad.