It is happening…everyday…it happens in plain sight. Right under your nose…literally…EWWWWWW!!!! What is that GOD-awful smell??? Oh shoot!!! It is the dinner we didn’t finish from last week…YUCK! You quickly render a pair of latex gloves and make a beeline for the garbage. Then you beg your husband to take the trash out because it is smelling up the whole house and we are not gonna have that now. That awful guilty feeling overwhelms you and you literally start counting the dollars that just went to the landfill. Honestly, if that is how you are feeling, you are steps ahead of most Americans. Most people throw food items away without a second glance or an ounce of guilt. If you do then you are a lot like me.
Every piece of food that I throw away I think of the amount of time it took me to earn the money to buy that food. I think of the starving children in the world. I think of what I would have given to have that food when growing up without much and in poverty. YES. It is that deep to me. Call me crazy. I really don’t care. I will consistently make a conscious effort to ensure that my hard earned dollars and all of my time that I spend “trying to save money on groceries” and “meal planning” do NOT go in vain. I will be one with my refrigerator…ok maybe that is a bit extreme…but I will be a present participant in the challenge of zero food waste. Will you join me? Ok, good now let’s go.
People are throwing away a lot more food than they think. Americans far underestimate how much food they are really wasting each year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a family of four wastes approximately $1,500 per year or about a pound of food EVERY day! Our weekly habits are riddled with throwing away leftovers and rotted groceries that were bought but never used. The statistics are staggering. This is a lot of lost meals but more importantly a TON of lost money in the landfill. With little effort we can help this cause. We can strive to consume less, waste less and ultimately save money in the process. I have written and entire ebook on this topic and go in depth with how you can really strive to waste less fresh, cooked and frozen food and you can check it out here:
- Save scraps – use them in leftovers, and be creative with repurposing scraps.
- Prep your food (don’t just plan) – make time every week to meal prep and take it one step beyond meal planning.
- Check your fridge every day (leftovers) – visit your fridge daily and seek to use up what is in it as well as clean out weekly.
- Inventory before you shop – always check to see what is on hand in your fridge, pantry and freezer
- Freeze everything – if you don’t use up your food within a few days, freeze it and make a plan for it in the near future.
I have also made video describing my top 5 ZERO FOOD WASTE TIPS below so check it out!