Reduce food waste and you will be amazed by how much money you can save. Reducing the food waste you send to landfill, and moving towards a zero waste lifestyle is great for our planet. But it is good for you personally too. Let’s take a look at 5 simple ways to reduce food waste, and think about what you could do with the money you save:
1. Reduce the Amount You Buy in the First Place
Much of the food waste we generate comes from over-buying. So the first step in reducing food waste is reducing the amount that you buy in the first place. Some ways to reduce the amount you buy might include:
- Taking notes on your family’s dietary requirements, and working out before shopping exactly how much you need.
- Make lists and stick to them (or get a personal cook to shop for you, to eliminate impulse buying).
- Go grocery shopping on a full stomach after having a snack or a meal.
- Growing at least some of your own food at home (You could grow a little on your windowsills, even if you do not have your own garden).
- Order groceries online is another way to reduce impulse buying.
2. Use Every Part of Your Food Purchases
It is also important to make sure that you use every part of all the food you buy or grow. Many people end up throwing out perfectly nutritious and delicious ingredients – such as carrot tops, broccoli stems, or beet or turnip leaves. Make sure that you make use of all these things. And, if you eat meat, make sure you use the whole lot – use bones to make broth, for example.
3. Cook and Eat Leftovers
Quite a lot of food waste derives from leftovers. Reduce food waste in your household by making good use of all of your leftovers. Leftovers are nutritious and delicious, and you can use them in a wide range of exciting and delicious recipes.
4. Use Frozen Foods
Experts say frozen produce actually has a lower carbon footprint than fresh, mostly due to less food waste at home. Also, because of the prep work that goes into frozen produce (washing, peeling, etc), they can often have less pesticide residue and more nutritional value than fresh.
On top of all that, fresh produce is usually flown around the world to markets in airplanes with extra AC, while frozen foods travels by ship, which takes a fraction of the fuel. Even if you take into account the extra packaging frozen foods require, it’s still a more green solution.
The best green solution – eat local fresh in season produce, eat frozen for out of season or non-local produce and recycle the packaging, if possible. Don’t forget to read the frozen food labels carefully to avoid packages with hidden salts, sugars, unpronounceable additives and preservatives.
5. Compost Food Waste At Home or Get a Chicken Coop
Whether or not you grow your own food, composting is a key skill to learn. Composting food scraps at home can allow you to make full use of the nutrients they contain, even when they are not good to eat. Composting can be done at home, even without a garden. You can install a small container under your sink or in a kitchen cupboard and keep food waste out of landfill. Another way to deal with it is to install a chicken coop, the chickens will eat all the scraps and you will also get nice fresh eggs.
What To Do With the Money You Save From Being Thrown Away
If you could save $50-$100 per week, that’s up to $5k a year, up to $150k in 30 years, if you invest it and get interest or other returns, it can get to $300,000 during this time!
- Book once a week a personal cook to prepare healthy meals
- Save towards kids education Pay off your mortgage faster
- Invest in your own garden and/or chicken coop
- Get awesome triathlon or other hobbies equipment
- Nail polish, pedicure and hair done more often
- Donate money to your favorite cause, perhaps to help the environment, or those in our society who do not have enough to eat
The list is very long, share in the comments what will you do with the extra money saved from being thrown away.