Limiting food waste can be a challenge when you have to reduce your trips to the store and avoid shopping on a whim. But with some planning and imagination, you can stretch your groceries to the max!
1 – Plan
Pre-plan your meals
Weekly meal planning will help you avoid buying unnecessary items that might go to waste in your fridge. To make the most of your ingredients, consider yesterday’s leftovers in your meal plan.
Start by taking inventory of what’s in your fridge and pantry, then make a grocery list based on your weekly meal plan. Most importantly, stick to the list when you go to the store, as tempting as it may be to stray.
Organize your fridge
Organize your fridge effectively to ensure your foods keep as long as possible. Meats should be kept at the bottom, fruits and vegetables should be stored in the bins, and eggs and dairy products should ideally not be kept in the door.
Use the right containers
Clear containers allow you to see what leftovers you have, while freezer bags help extend the life of frozen foods and limit freezer burn.
Don’t forget the pantry
Rotating dry goods in the pantry is another effective way to avoid waste. Store your newly purchased cans at the back of the cupboard and move the older items to the front so they are easy to access. Sorting through your items on a regular basis will save you from buying yet another can of creamed corn!
Plan your quantities effectively
Avoid improvising with recipes and stick to what you need for your meal, taking into account portions for freezing and leftovers.
The art of empty-the-fridge meals
Choose any ingredients and leftovers that need to be used and let your imagination run wild! Empty-the-fridge meals are so much more than an endless array of soups. Other options include pasta dishes, homemade pizzas, hearty quiches and one-bowl meals.
4 – Reuse
Don’t write anything off
A shrivelled vegetable, overripe fruit and stale bread are the perfect ingredients for a great soup, a delicious compote and an amazing bread pudding. Before throwing anything away, think about what it might still be good for!
Don’t simply toss it
As a last resort, head for the compost bin instead. That’s what it’s there for! Check your municipality’s composting guidelines or make your own compost to avoid sending food to landfill.
In addition to limiting food waste, these tips are designed to help you save by wasting less and develop better eating habits by planning effectively!
Empty-the-fridge recipes to try: