Reducing food waste is good for the planet and good for your wallet. Win-win, right? If you’re looking to cut down on your waste and save a few bucks in the process, here are some tips to get you started.
1. Shop smart
Always make a grocery list! A list makes your shopping trip more efficient and prevents you from making impulsive buying decisions. If possible, plan all your meals for the week while making your grocery list, so you will only buy what you plan to use.
2. Organize your fridge and pantry
Proper storage is key to preserving your food as long as possible. Organize your fridge by shelf.
- Ready-to-eat foods should go near the top, where they are easy to see.
- Raw meat and seafood should go on lower shelves so they won’t leak onto cooked foods.
- Separate fruits and vegetables into different humidity-controlled drawers, where they’ll last longest.
- Condiments, dairy, and eggs take longer to spoil, so they can go in a warmer part of the fridge like the door.
In the pantry, make sure you have plenty of secure shelves and drawers for storage. Get bins, baskets, or even sheet pans to use for grouping like foods together. For example, sort your foods into groups like snacks, grains and pasta, cereals, canned goods, and produce, and place them in bins on different shelves. This will make it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for without digging through dozens of cans and boxes. Try to avoid pushing foods to the very back of the pantry, where they’ll be forgotten and left to spoil.
3. Practice meal prep
Get into the habit of spending a few hours a week preparing foods for cooking or eating. One good practice is to set aside time on the weekend (like after you’ve gone grocery shopping) to wash and chop produce, marinate and cook proteins, or freeze foods that you won’t be eating right away. This helps you keep track of the food you’ve bought, and ensures it will be eaten and enjoyed.
4. Eat leftovers
Save those leftovers (and eat them!). If you don’t mind eating leftovers, then you’re already on the right track. Put them in sealed glass or plastic containers in the fridge, preferably at eye level, near the front where you’ll see them easily. If you can’t bear to eat the same thing twice in one week, then get creative. Brainstorm ways to remix your leftovers into new dishes. For example, cooked vegetables can be chopped up and added to scrambled eggs, pasta, or sandwiches.
If you still find yourself with the occasional forgotten can of beans or box of cereal that you don’t like, do your best to save them from the trash. Unopened, shelf-stable food that hasn’t expired can always be donated to your local food bank.
Start Your Pantry Project
Having an efficient, organized pantry can make reducing waste so much easier. Give Closet & Storage Concepts a call today, and we’ll help you plan the perfect pantry for your Boston home! Serving the greater Metro West area including Hopkinton, Medfield, and Franklin.