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How to Reduce Food Waste at Home

Updated on October 9, 2012

Reducing food waste in my home is an ongoing battle. Wasted food costs my family money; money that could be better used on other things. It also costs the environment as well. A lot of energy when into producing the food that I purchase and all of that has been wasted if the food goes in the trash can. Here are some simple ideas that you can use to reduce the amount of food that your family wastes.

Fresh Produce

  • Sit your apples, bananas, oranges and other similar fruit out on the counter in a pretty bowl so that they are visible to your family. The fruit is more likely to get eaten than if it is hidden away in your refrigerator.
  • Prepare any fresh produce as soon as you get it home from the grocery store. Wash celery, peel and cut cucumbers, shred carrots, etc. Some of these can even go in your freezer! If the produce is already prepared, it will take you less time when you are cooking and you will be more likely to use up this produce before it goes bad.
  • Before you make your weekly meal plan, go to your refrigerator or pantry and take a look at the produce that you already have on hand. Build meals around these vegetables or fruits so that you can use up what is currently in your house.

Other Perishable Items

  • Keep an eye on that jug of milk and make sure that your family uses it up before it goes sour. You can incorporate milk into recipes in your weekly meal plan in order to use any remaining milk.
  • Your weekly meal plan can also incorporate any items that you may have in your freezer. To avoid freezer burn, try to use older items first and take an inventory before you do your weekly shopping.


Cooked Food

  • If you have leftovers, transfer food to a freezer bag or other suitable storage container. Freezing your leftovers can extend the time you have to eat it. Take it out and defrost in the microwave.
  • Serve smaller portions to your children. They can always ask for more instead of wasting the food on their plates.
  • Plan in one or two nights a week for a leftovers night (no cooking). Pull out any food from your fridge that needs to be eaten and serve them up. Building these nights into your weekly meal plan will allow you ensure that these are eaten before they go bad.

Save your family money each week by not wasting food! Don't grow science experiments in your refrigerator - implement some of these tips this week and see the difference! If you have any other great ideas for not wasting food, share them below!

About the Author

Kristy Rose is always look for ways to save money in the kitchen and tries very hard to reduce the amount of food that her family wastes. She is also passionate about writing, especially on Hubpages. If you want to join the Hubpages community, START HERE and you can publish your first article today!


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    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      This is one of my favourite topics! I consider it an entertaining challenge to throw away the bare minimum.

      We don't eat left overs in our house - Wonderful Husband says that we have "heritage meals".

      I've voted this Up and useful.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 5 years ago from Georgia

      Great tips. I have a habit of buying lots of fresh produce and then feeling too tired after work to cook, so it goes to waste. This never leads to me feeling good. I also wind up spending more money because I eat out instead of cook. I really like the idea of using what you have on hand before buying more. Voted up.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      All great tips and advice in this well written hub. Well done !

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      All great suggestions! Some I already do, others I will be able to use. Thank you!

    • kat_thurston profile image

      kat_thurston 5 years ago

      Good tips I hate seeing food wasted. while that rarely happens in this house with 7 of us sometimes it does. I try and prevent by if I see it needs to be used very soon. I will either prepare it in meal then freeze or see if a neighboor or other family member can use right away.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Great ideas! I think if I implement even a couple of those good tips, then I will be cutting back on waste. Thanks again for sharing your tips. Very good hub!