12 Feb 6 PRACTICAL TIPS TO REDUCE FOOD WASTE AND SAVE MONEY
Using simple tips to reduce food waste you can save money while doing so. An easy outcome to achieve with just a little bit of planning and reorganizing.
There’s a saying in English: “Feast or famine.” Figuratively, this saying can stand to mean many things. For example, as a freelancer, I either have TOO much work to complete, or too little to keep me busy. Literally, it’s the state of our world when it comes to food supply.
While some nations are starving and lacking enough food supply to supply, other nations (ahem…America, to name one) are throwing away billions of dollars each year in waste.
According to FeedingAmerica.org, that’s $218 Billion annually that’s being thrown away each year. What the…!? Why?
In a recent Johns Hopkins study, sixty percent of people said they threw away food out of a desire to eat the freshest foods. Makes sense, right? Who wants to eat moldy crap or rotten leftovers.
However, what’s not, perhaps, ok is our approach to preparing, storing, and sourcing our food. In short, reducing your food waste can not only save you money, but help the world at the same time.
What’s the easiest way? I’ve teamed up with Dafi to share some tips on how you can reduce your food waste, save yourself money, and eat better tasting foods using their systematic air-tight containers.
1. PLAN MEALS AHEAD
This strategy will not only save you money and reduce your food-footprint, you may also find you’re eating healthier as well! When you plan your meals ahead, you can get an omniscient view of the week ahead and what you’ll need.
Planning is KEY when it comes to healthy eating as well. You won’t be grabbing for anything last minute, therefor, eating something less than nourishing. Further, you won’t be tossing unused food because you’ll have properly allocated the use of it all in your meal planning.
The easiest way to plan ahead is to prep and store your foods in ready to go containers, like the Dafi air-tight containers shown above. It’s a “think-free” way to grab the healthy meal and out the door you go without any additional time wasted.
TIP: Make a menu of what you already have in your refrigerator or cabinets, so when you’re purchasing food in advance, you don’t overbuy. Give your self the opportunity to get creative with meals, mixing and matching, or switching out proteins from one meal to the next, but keeping a consistent base to work off of (like this list) makes it easier, and more efficient, for planning.
See the video below for three easy, prep-ahead meals you can store and take with you for on-the-go healthy options:
2. DON’T OVER SERVE
Covering all corners of your dinner plate? If it’s greens, that can be an ok thing. But, often, we’re eating with our eyes and not with our actual hunger. Like cutting hair, you can always cut off more. With food, you can always get more, if you (after a plate) are truly hungry!
Again, for storing the leftovers, they will last longer (taking you to tip 3 and 4) is in an air-tight container where the food cannot be spoiled from air seeping through.
3. STORE PROPERLY
While nothing can preserve food forever (and honestly, if something lasts that long, do you really want it in your body?), improper food storage is a leading cause of spoilage. Food spoiling is a natural part of the food process; however, there are ways to slow down the process by keeping extra air out, storing foods separately and not mixed together, and keeping them stored at the right temperatures.
The Dafi air-tight containers not only keep air out, slows down the cellular breakdown of fruits, vegetables, and plant-based foods, but it also keeps odors from seeping in to the rest of your refrigerator and foods as well.
4. SAVE LEFTOVERS (AND ACTUALLY EAT THEM!)
How often have we saved food for later but then completely forgotten about them? (GUILTY!)
The leftovers you’re saving from Tip number 2? Get an order to that fridge. Place older foods in the front, and newer foods in the back. The benefit of the transparent containers that Dafi has is you get a visual of what’s in your refrigerator and won’t run into the “what’s in that white styrofoam box” scenario.
P.S. Styrofoam use is a topic for another post, but reduce or do away at all, with the use of styrofoam when you can. It takes 500 years to forever to break down in a landfill. Another reason to use reusable containers, like the Dafi line!
5. KEEP CABINETS AND REFRIGERATOR ORGANIZED
An organized space, is a clean mind—and, an organized kitchen storage space is a clean plate, I believe! When you can see foods visible to the eye, you won’t forget about them, while they spoil away. Keeping containers neatly stacked can be a great way not to forget what you have available when making that meal planning list (see Tip #1 above).
5. FREEZE EXTRA FOOD
There comes a time when you are fully aware you just won’t be able to eat certain foods all in one day. Enter, the magic of a freezer!
Buy too many bananas? Freeze ‘em and make some banana ice cream later — here’s a recipe!
Heading out of town? Don’t let the extra food in your food go to waste. Clean, slice, and store to freeze for later use in smoothies, omelettes, soups, or stir-fries.
Bread is buy one, get one free, but you’re a single guy or gal and not a big PB&J fan? Freeze it for next week.
TIP: This strategy can be great for meal planning for the week as well! Soups and protein bowls (like quinoa and lentils) can be prepared in advance, then stored before consuming the day of. Dafi air-tight containers are freezer friendly! So, you literally can meal plan, freeze, and have a healthy, waste-less meal ready to go when you need it.
In short, wasting less food and saving money while doing so is an easy outcome to achieve with just a little bit of planning and reorganizing. There’s no reason we all can’t be doing our part to being less wasteful, and a little more grateful, for the fact we have access to such an abundance of foods to choose from.
Did I miss a tip? Please share your food saving strategies below in the comment section. You’ll not only be helping me figure out new ways, but other readers as well!
*All the products shown and mentioned above can be found here on the Dafi USA website. Pumps are available in both electric and manual pieces.
A bit about my partner company, Dafi:
Dafi is a worldwide known brand of products such as water pitchers, filtering cartridges, sport filtering bottles and vacuum containers. We have been on the market for over 30 years. Dafi uses only the highest quality raw materials from Germany. Carbon we use in our cartridges is obtained from specially selected coconut shells, which together with ceramic, alkaline bed gives you healthy and tasty water.