31 Easy Ways To Reduce Food Waste

Would you believe that we waste enough food each year to feed more than one billion people? Believe it, because it is a trusted statement. Americans, particularly, seem to waste just as much food as they consume. That’s a lot of money that you didn’t have to spend on top of it all. Don’t you want to do better? Don’t you want to be someone known for saving money, helping their environment, and wasting little? No, do not keep eating long after you’re full and make yourself sick. But, do something about the amount of food that you are wasting!

Digest this fact: The amount of food waste produced globally each year is more than enough to feed the nearly 1 billion hungry people in the world. Cutting back on food waste is incredibly easy and here we are sharing with you 31 simple, easy and practical ways to avoid food waste and enjoy the benefits of that trait, including a wallet with more cash inside. These tips are easy to use no matter who you are so there is no excuse! Put these tips to work, and minimize the amount of food you are wasting before tonight’s dinner.


1. Buy Only What You Need: If you prepare meals ahead of time it is easy to reduce the groceries you purchase each week by purchasing only what you need. If you’ll use three carrots and eight potatoes, buy this amount!

2. Look at Expiration Dates: It is important to check expiration dates before you purchase a particular food item –and after it as well. Choose products to purchase with the furthers expiration dates and keep a close eye on them once you bring those groceries home, using the closest expiration dates first. Use dates with closer expiration dates first. Make this easier by moving these items to the front of your refrigerator and pantry. This reduces the food being thrown out because it is no longer safe to eat.

3. Eat Leftovers: Rather than toss the leftovers from dinner, wrap them up and put them in the fried. Leftovers make great lunches for work and if you’re a small family, they’re just as great for second night meals. You get the benefit of not cooking so there is more time on your hands.

4. Store Foods Carefully: Many foods are wasted because they’ve become stale or lost their taste because they were not properly stored. Eliminate this woe by ensuring that you have many different containers to seal foods, as well as clips to hold packages together.

5. Is the Fridge Okay? If your refrigerator is not performing at peak performance, it could cause your foods to go bad before they’re really ready. Make sure this is not an occurrence in your home.

6. Donate it: If you’ve accumulated more food than what you can use before it expires, why not donate it to a worthy cause? There are many food banks and other centers in the local area that would appreciate your donation. And, it might be tax deductible.

7. Keep Track of Waste: Every day, write down the foods that you waste in your household; no matter the reason it was waste, make a note of it. At the end of the week, take a look at the amount of food that you are wasting. Maybe even add up the total cost of this wasted food. If this doesn’t convince you to straighten up, nothing will.

8. Learn Canning: Learn canning and you can store pickles, cucumbers, tomatoes and more. This extends the lifetime and provides you with greater use for many foods.

9. Take Inventory: Before you go to the supermarket an make a purchase, take a quick inventory of the foods that you already have so not to repeat purchases.

10. Use Powdered Dairy Products: They have a longer shelf life, they taste just as good, and they’re a lot cheaper. Where’s the ‘bad’ in this picture?

11. Invite Friends Over For Dinner: If you have a ton of food that needs to be cooked, why not invite friends over for dinner? Feeding someone is better than allowing it to go to waste, and you have a great chance to socialize!

12. Look at Product Sizes: Obviously a household of two will use less than a household of five, so make sure that you purchase according to your needs. Although it might seem like a good deal, if half of it is going to go to waste, is there really any savings?

13. Stop Being so Picky: If you are picky about the foods that you eat, it is going to cost you a lot more at the supermarket, and you’ll be spending unnecessary cash.

14. Here Kitty, Kitty: Okay, so may be the kitty isn’t the best animal to give the scraps too, but feeding the animals your leftovers is also a good idea that ensures nothing goes to waste.

15. Learn Why You Waste: In addition to keeping lists of the food that you are wasting, also learn why you are wasting them. When you write this list, perhaps include the reason the food was wasted to make this step easier.

16. It’s the Time to Share: When eating out, share a meal with your friend or partner. Most of the time entrees are large enough to do this, and you’ll save money and reduce waste.

17. Grow Your Own: Gardening is a great pastime, and it can eliminate waste since you grow only what you need. If you have extra give it to friends, donate it to local organizations or sale it!

18. Measure: Measuring cups and measuring spoons are made to ensure that you insert the proper amount of ingredients not a recipe. Use these kitchen tools and you will find far less waste in your home.

19. Plan Ahead: It is amazing how much food is saved when you plan your meals. When you know what you are going to prepare, you can buy only what you need!

20. Freeze It: When a product expiration date is nearing and you cannot prepare the item before this date, throw it in the freezer. Most items will last at least 30 more days when properly stored inside of the refrigerator.


21. Reorganize Your Fridge: When you know what is inside of the fridge it is much easier to reduce waste.

22. Stop Cooking so Much: Know what you, and your family, will eat, and prepare only this amount when you cook.

23. Take a Pledge: Pledge to stop food waste and make a commitment to that pledge. You’ll feel great when you take the pledge, and you’ll save money!

24. Buy Funny Looking Products: There are many fruits and vegetables that are thrown away simple because their color, size and other characteristics does not match with the rest of the items. These food items are perfect to eat and buying these items from the supermarket or local grocery store can help reduce waste that would otherwise end up in landfills.

25. Inspect Your Food: Before any food is purchased, ensure that it is propelled inspected. Look for signs of produce that is going bad, meat that may have been on the shelf too long or for other signs of food that is about to spoil.

26. Use Old Fruits & Veggies: Rather than toss fruits and veggies that are soon to spoil, use them to create fruit salads, smoothies, and more.

27. Repackage Foods: If you buy in bulk or larger quantities, separate the meats and store individual portions inside of freezer bags. His is a step that will greatly reduce waste.

28. Freeze Meals: You can cook portions of food to freeze to eat at a later time. Foods that are really good for this include spaghetti and lasagna, but there are many others as well. As a bonus, you gain a night of no cooking required!

29. Stop Snacking: If you are snacking all of the time you are going to eat less when lunch or dinner is serving. Stop snacking and enjoy more of those goods for you foods.

30. Visit the Store Less Often: If you are shopping frequently you are more likely to purchase foods that you don’t really need. Schedule a once per week shopping day and avoid going any more frequently.

31. Eat Before you Shop: Food shopping on an empty stomach leads to impulse purchases that will likely go to waste.

Image credit: usdagov , jbloom


Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.