Tips and Tricks: How to Avoid Wasting Food

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

If you’re participating in the Kitchn Cure, you probably tossed a fair amount of outdated, spoiled, and just not useful food this week. Every time we clean out the fridge, we’re filled with agita at all the food we waste. Cooking for two people with busy schedules means that plans change unexpectedly, and that head of lettuce you bought two weeks ago is just not going to wait.

Did you know that while the US produces twice as much food than it needs, we still waste 40% of food produced? Forty percent is a staggering number that leaves us determined to find ways to stop wasting food. Here are a few of our latest ideas!

A magnetic whiteboard on the fridge When we buy produce, we write it down. As it gets used up, we erase it from the board. We’re also writing down the leftovers in the fridge. A bonus is that this means when we’re jonesing for a snack, we remember those healthy beans tucked at the back of the fridge, rather than just reaching for the chips.
Making a list We’re big impulse buyers, grabbing whatever looks good in the market. But this means that sometimes we buy those gorgeous spring onions without really knowing how we’ll use them. Now we’re trying our best to plan our meals and make shopping lists. But don’t think this means we’re buying asparagus that looks too unripe, just because our list dictates. Instead, we’ll write “2 nights x green vegetables,” which allows us some spontaneity at the store, without causing us to buy too much.
Keeping a food waste diary We got this idea from the UK campaign Love Food, Hate Waste which offers a free downloadable food waste diary. Every time you throw away food, whether it’s a banana peel or 3/4 of a lasagna, you write down what it was and why you tossed it. The diary helps you be mindful – do I really need to toss this, or can I take it for lunch tomorrow? But also, after a while you can see what you’re wasting the most and try to curb your shopping habits.

How do you avoid wasting food?