An Easy Way to Stop Wasting the Groceries You Bring Home

Shopping Tips from The Kitchn

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Hands up if you've ever forgotten something delicious or new you brought home from the grocery store: a nice piece of cheese, a basket of berries. I'm certainly guilty of this; I can feel so inspired when shopping only to have my motivation evaporate after putting the groceries away. But I have a little trick for remembering and following through with my groceries — it takes all of 5 seconds.

Some of us shop frequently for groceries, going every day to get something fresh for dinner. I like to do that, when I can. But about once every month or two I'll do a major meal planning session and then stock up. I'll often grab meat that's on sale and put it in the freezer for soups or stews, or buy interesting produce to experiment with.

Here's the problem. Much too often, I forget what's in my fridge. The week runs by and suddenly that head of Savoy cabbage has been there for ten days, or I pushed those beautiful blackberries to the back of the fridge and forgot to put them on my oatmeal. Oops. Forgetfulness leads to waste, and it's the curse of a full-size fridge, where things can get pushed to the back and forgotten.

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So I've been using this tactic:

I keep my grocery receipt and highlight perishable items that need to be used in a timely fashion, or the groceries that I plan to cook with that week. Then I stick it firmly to the front of the fridge, a visual reminder every time I open it.

It's a quick and easy hack, faster than making a full fridge inventory, and it helps me remember to eat the things I bring home.

What about you? Do you forget about things in your refrigerator or your cupboards? How do you keep track of your shopping and your cooking?

(Image credits: Faith Durand)