Every year, the EU wastes almost 88 million tonnes of food, with more than half of it originating from families. However, we can all help by changing how we purchase, cook, and plan our meals to reduce food waste, money, and resources.
6 Ways to Reduce Food Waste At Home
These are the various easy ways to reduce food waste at home.
1. Make A Meal Plan
It’s only a good deal if we can use the food before it expires! Please keep in mind that our schedules can be hectic and unpredictable. ‘Buy one, get one free’ and such bulk discounts encourage us to buy more than we require, resulting in waste being transferred from the store to our homes. When it comes to food waste, it’s best not to buy more than you need.
Simple guidelines can assist you in purchasing only what you require:
- Make a week’s worth of food plans.
- Before going shopping, check or snap a photo of what’s left in the fridge and cupboards, so you know what you have.
- Shop for groceries after a meal rather than before.
- Make a shopping list with the quantities you’ll need.
- Don’t dismiss imperfect fruits and veggies; they’re still delicious and healthful.
2. Understand How To Store Your Food Properly
Apply the first-in-first-out approach to prevent food from disappearing into the cupboards or refrigerator. Fresh groceries are placed beneath products, with expiration dates getting more evident.
To avoid dripping, organize the fridge by placing ready-to-eat foods. For example, fruit and vegetables should be kept in a separate drawer.
Are you unsure if a food item should be kept inside or outside the refrigerator? Use a digital storage guide, smart fridge, app, or online template to keep track of your food storage at home.
3. Know The Basic Difference Between ‘Use By’ And ‘Best Before Dates
The ‘use-by date on packaged food indicates when the product is still safe to eat. Perishable items, such as cold meat, dairy, and ready-made meals, normally have a use-by date. To minimize wasting food, items should only be bought when and in the quantities required. It’s not a good idea to stock up.
Use by dates is more rigid than ‘best before dates. Foods like dried beans, lentils, and pasta can be safely ingested after this period, albeit their quality may have deteriorated. To detect the quality of meals with this labeling, we should rely on our senses.
4. Make The Most Of What You Have
- Regularly check what’s in the fridge and cupboards, and use up foods about to expire.
- Toss any leftover vegetables into a spaghetti, soup, omelet, or stir fry to “clean out the fridge.”
- We get to try a new recipe while avoiding wasting wonderful ingredients.
- Get inventive and look for dishes that require a few ingredients.
- Freeze food before it expires. Smoothies can benefit from the addition of frozen fruits.
5. Don’t Serve Too Much Food
Here are a few basic things you can do to help:
- Rather than scraping surplus food from our plates into the trash, serve small portions and return for seconds.
- When serving meals, use smaller plates.
- Use low-cost kitchen aids such as measuring cups and scoops to determine acceptable portion amounts.
- Make eating more enjoyable by being conscious, eating away from a device, and taking more time.
- Lunch leftovers the next day can be taken to work. There aren’t enough leftovers for a whole meal? Mix and match from several dinners toss in some salad or bread, and we have a feast!
- Freeze for a later date. Frozen leftovers should be consumed within three months for the best benefits.
- Label leftovers with a date.
- When dining out, request a doggy bag; it is acceptable to take leftovers, and there should be no guilt. Bringing a container might also help you save money on packing.
- Share delicious leftover dishes with friends and family, host a feast with leftover food, or organize a food waste contest in your neighborhood.
6. Be Familiar With Your Molds
Whether we can still rescue the food if mold arises is dependent on what kind of mold it is. However, the following general guidelines can assist us in determining what to do.
Once the moldy component and the surrounding region have been removed, hard foods should be safe to eat. The category of firm foods includes:
- Hard cheeses.
- Hard cured meats (such as salami and ham).
- Firm fruits/ vegetables (such as cabbage, peppers, root vegetables).
Food waste may be reduced with simple forethought and good storage habits. To help you manage your meal budget while keeping you and your family safe, keep these ideas in mind.