Tips For Reducing Food Waste?
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    Default Tips For Reducing Food Waste?

    Tips For Reducing Food Waste?-waste-money.jpg

    Have you ever thought about how much food you and your family throw away on a daily basis? Everything from spoiled produce to forgotten leftovers, as much as 95% of the food you throw away eventually ends up in a landfill. Each year, Americans throw away roughly 40 million tons of wasted food – does that number shock you? If so, keep reading to learn some simple tips for reducing food waste. Stop Throwing Away Money: Tips to Reduce Food Waste
    What tips do you have for reducing food waste?
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    I actually wrote a blog post about this for someone recently.
    Here are my tips for using up food past its best:
    - Banana bread is a fantastic use of brown bananas, and berries, apples etc can be put into a pie or crumble.
    - Avocados can be turned into mousses, chocolate cakes, smoothies, or even beauty treatments like face masks or body moisturisers
    - When your vegetables have lost a bit of their crunch you’re probably not so inclined to eat them raw in a salad. What you can do is put them in a healthy smoothie, mix them into a casserole or give them back their bite by making fritters. If you’ve got a guinea pig or rabbit (or know someone that does), why not give it to them - the animals won’t mind if they’re a little soft! You could also make your own pizzas and use any surplus veg as toppings and flavour them however you like.
    - Use opened wine in cooking (try a spaghetti bolognaise or a chilli con carne) and make sure that lovely flavour isn’t poured down the sink. You can also try making a wine vinegar which will last much longer.
    - Dry, stale bread can be easily turned into breadcrumbs or croutons
    - If your cilantro or mint starts going a little yellow, don’t worry. Herbs can stay in the freezer for a long time and when needed can be brought out and used when needed. Being in the freezer also makes them break easily so there’s often no need for chopping - just crush the bag and sprinkle onto your dishes

    Hope this is of use to somebody!

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    I inventory the fridge twice a week and if we won't eat it before it goes bad I freeze or dehydrate it. When I make big batches of food I freeze it in meal size containers or can it. After we eat a meal I put it in lunch sized containers so I can take it to work.
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    I'm doing much better about not over-buying. If it's not here, it's not going to spoil. I'm also doing better about managing our food in general so things get used up in a timely manner.

    I know which expiration dates can be safely ignored and which ones I need to pay more attention to. Most foods do not need to be thrown out just because they've expired.

    Celery keeps a lot longer if it's cleaned and stood in an inch of water in the fridge, in a container with a tight lid. I use a Tupperware pickle keeper. Or if it's still in the bag and limp, it can be refreshed by cutting off the bottoms of the stalks and standing it in water for a while so it can rehydrate itself.

    I just pulled some stuff out of the fridge that wouldn't get used before it spoiled and moved it to the freezer too, LL. GMTA.

    We often eat foods that need to be used, instead of only eating foods if we're in the mood to eat them. Or I cooked things that will use the aging foods and then freeze them in individual portions, DIY convenience foods that can be easily heated up when we don't want to cook some other day.

    We often eat the same supper two days in a row, to avoid having too many leftovers at once and also reduce the need to cook so much and make another cooking mess. I also usually prep enough so Husby gets lunch the next day from the leftovers. If there is enough for supper, lunch, and then another supper, I'll skip a day or two so Husby isn't eating the same thing three meals in a row, but I make sure all leftovers are either frozen or eaten within a few days.

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    My biggest waste is produce. I usually buy with good intentions and then forget that it's there stuffed in a drawer or bin out of sight. Bagged salad and cucumbers are the biggest drains.
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    Niko, I have the same problem. It's helpful for me to clean veggies and fruit as soon as possible after they come in the door, so they're ready to go. I also try to keep them in containers I can see through, and keep them on the shelves that are at eye level so I see them whenever I look in the fridge. It's not a perfect system but it's helped me do better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NikoSan999 View Post
    My biggest waste is produce. I usually buy with good intentions and then forget that it's there stuffed in a drawer or bin out of sight. Bagged salad and cucumbers are the biggest drains.
    I have this problem too - I really need to get in the habit of taking cucumber slices to work as a snack. I always go to the supermarket with meals in mind then can't be bothered to make them!

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    One really, really hard one for me is to not overeat. If I'm eating food my body doesn't need, I'm wasting food. I wish I could get that under control. It's hard to stick with correct portion sizes, especially with foods I really love. But obviously if I eat a 3-oz steak instead of a bigger one, I save money, and if I can stick with proper portions most of the time, savings are significant especially for more expensive foods like steak.

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    I often here people talk about having fresh vegetables go bad. But we eat salad every day, so it seems like veggies do not go bad very often. We also have a good idea of how much we use in a week so we do not usually get too much.

    We also eat a lot of fresh fruit. Again that is less likely to go bad because we are eating fruit twice a day.

    We also know about how long specific fruits and vegetable usually last. We keep that in mind when we choose what to eat. When choosing what fruit or vegetable to eat, we eat the ones that go bad quickest first.

    With fresh fruit that has bruises, we generally cut up the fruit to use the parts of the fruit that are still good.
    KathyB

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    I just seem to be aware of what is in the fridge and needs to be used. I am also creative in using things or combining things to use. I only use recipes for cooking about half the time or less. Tonight I am using leftover onions, peppers, okra, squash and tomatoes from the garden in a casserole. There was chicken that needed to be cooked. It all went in the oven tonight.

    Sometimes things get lost in the pantry, or we are given things we are not likely to use (leek soup mix for example.) It does take an effort to use those things.

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    A couple tips which have helped me
    1.) I switched from lettuce to cabbage. Cabbage keeps longer.
    2.) When it came time to purchase a frig I bought a small one...less electricity and less possibility for stuff to go MIA and be found spoiled due to less room
    3.) Batch cooking and freezing everything in meal size containers.
    4.) Freeze milk in 2 cup containers so that the carton does not spoil if I do not drink it fast enough
    5.) Anything which does not get eaten from lunch bag is incorporated into dinner
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    I sub cabbage for lettuce sometimes, too, especially when camping. The camper fridge sometimes freezes things a little bit, and so does a cooler full of HM ice that starts its life at around zero degrees. Cabbage stands up to that much better than lettuce, which is inedible if it gets too cold. Cabbage is more filling than lettuce, too. And when cabbage gets old, it's easy for us to use it up fast by frying it with some bacon or SPAM or sausage and other veggies and eating it. There's never any left.

    I plan to go bigger when we need a new fridge. We have a side by side which results in a small fridge and I don't have space for the stuff I need to put in there. I always have several dishes of HM dog food in various stages of thawing, usually a big container with watermelon (because it usually doesn't fit unless it's cut up), dozens of eggs, Claussen pickles found on sale, several pickle keepers with olives, pickles, sometimes HM open crock pickles, etc. And then there's the big collection of condiments and baking supplies. I'd love to have that stuff all in trays I can pull out when I want to bake, separated by usage, Asian items in one tray, condiments for meat in another, baking stuff in another, etc. We bought our fridge in 1988 so its days are probably numbered. Some days I'd love for it to quit, but then other days I really don't want to have the expense and hassle of replacing it. I did throw out some of the space-wasters we had in there for decades like the built-in leftover trays and the egg rack that went in the door. That helped a little.

    I also keep freezer stuff in single servings and agree it helps a lot. It's much more convenient than having to thaw something and then make 4 or 6 or more servings all at once. I've gotten away from making freezer meals that aren't cooked, too. It's easier and quicker just to be able to nuke something and have a meal on the table in four minutes per serving.

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    One good way is to cook in bulk and then freeze single portion servings. That is what I do for spaghetti sauce.

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    I still waste a lot admittedly. DH will get called on a 2 weeks trip and of course I had just shopped. I freeze,sometimes the dogs will get meat that is leftover, DD and I split produce. If Ik I'm going up I'll shop Aldis the day before and split it. Still working on buying less and having him use up the stuff he eats and I dont before he goes. I actually took the drawers out of the bottom of the fridge and will keep other things down there and put my produce eye level. It wont keep quite as long but if I see it I can pick that not sweets. I also occasionally leave notes outside on the fridge of whats in there. I get DH his food mostly but if he snacks he might pop in.

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    I've kept a soup container in the freezer...odds and ends of meat, veg and sauces go in it. When it gets pretty full, I can make soup. It's usually quite good.

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