Simple ways to reduce food waste

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It happens to everyone. You saved that last piece of Parmesan chicken with the best intentions of eating it later. A week passes and you wonder whatever happened to it. You clean the fridge to find that it has turned into a container of mold… Has this happened to you?

If it has don’t feel bad, it happens to the best of us, despite our best efforts.

The good news is there are simple ways to reduce food waste.

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Evaluate your food storage

Storage containers that are missing lids aren’t going to do you any good. Recycle or reuse those containers elsewhere.

If you use plastic containers, recycle the ones that have stains or funky smells that won’t go away no matter how much you clean them… Those stains and smells will leach into your fresh food and cause them to have a funky taste which means you’re not going to eat it and it will end up in the trash…

Invest in glass containers. They will last longer, keep food fresher longer, and are better overall for your health.

Also Read: Bringing your Eco-Friendly Lifestyle to work

Use a Food Saver

Ok I know I am always saying that we need to reduce our use of plastics and I’m not changing that, but if you’re like me and you hunt, or you buy in bulk, you have to be able to freeze your meat and veggies properly.

You don’t want to be worried that it’s going to get freezer-burned or go bad before you can eat it all.

The food saver has been a great investment for us. Plus, the bags can be reused and are recyclable! If you cut them open right at the seam you can wash them out, and reseal them! Once they reach the point of being too small to use, just recycle! Alternatively, you can use vacuum zip locks which I find more useful.

They also work great for flour, pasta, veggies, fruits, and anything that you need to freeze or store in bulk!

What’s nice about the food saver is that most models have a handheld sealer to use for the zip bags and containers. I love using containers to freeze soups and store veggies and meat in the fridge. The larger containers work great to keep coffee beans fresh longer as well.

Meatballs on a cutting board

Use leftovers

Instead of throwing away leftovers, take them for lunch at work or school, or save them for an evening when you need a quick bite!

If you’re not going to get to your leftovers for a few days throw them into the freezer to keep them fresh.

Get my guide to freezing food in my resource library!

Stay organized

Ok, this one is important because if you’re like me you’ll buy something, put it in the pantry, and after a bit wonder what happened to it and buy it again… Embarrassing I know, but it’s happened.

Keeping an inventory of what’s in the fridge or pantry can drastically cut down on food waste. Get my pantry and fridge inventory printables in my resource library.

Store fruits and veggies properly

Certain fruits and veggies need to be refrigerated and some don’t.

We always have veggies in bulk so knowing where and how to store them has been a huge help in keeping them fresh.


Compost fruit and veggie skins as well as other food scraps.

You can read more about composting in my post about sustainable gardening.

Reducing food waste isn’t difficult but it’s something we all have to actively work at.

What ways have you found to cut down on your food waste? Let me know in the comments!

Whitney Stokes

Whitney is a naturalist who started in 2018 to encourage natural and sustainable living.

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