3 Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste

3 Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste

One of my biggest pet peeves as a mom is wasted food. This is not a part of motherhood I saw coming! Even though I’ve worked with kids and part of that time included feeding them I didn’t see the full scale of the problem. It’s one of my mom triggers that I never would have guessed. Needless to say I have a lot of tiny leftover containers. If my daughter refuses to try something I save it and offer it again at least once. If she refuses food I know she likes, I save it and tell her she will be eating it when she is hungry before she gets any snack foods. I know every mom on the planet has experienced the scenario where your kid claims they aren’t hungry, refuses to eat anything, and then walks up to you 15 minutes later saying they are hungry. It drives me crazy!  I started saving lunch or dinner foods that went mostly uneaten and told her she had to eat them before she would get what she really wanted – snacks. Now, I only do this when she eats barely anything and usually when it’s food I know she likes. It has helped some, and she mostly agrees to eat the left overs before she gets her snacks. It has really helped reduce food waste from our meals. I’ve actually always been annoyed at wasting food. I hate when I buy something and forget what I wanted to use it for. Then it sits in the fridge and spoils, eventually being thrown away. So, when I found out there was a Stop Food Waste Day, it was the perfect chance to share with you the 3 best ways I have come up with to reduce food waste. They are easy too.

Did you know that a third of the food produced in the world actually goes to waste?

I was so shocked to hear this! That’s a lot of food, so this holiday was created to bring awareness to the problem. Read more about the history of food waste.

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Meal Plan, Meal Plan, Meal Plan

There are so many benefits to meal planning. I meal plan because it saves me money and stress. It saves me money because I don’t buy ingredients I don’t need. I also am less likely to impulse buy because I have a plan which saves me money. Having a weekly meal plan saves me so much time. When I know what I’m making for dinner, I don’t stare at the fridge and then waste time figuring out what to make. It also saves me a lot of anxiety and helps our meals be more balanced and nutritious instead of just grabbing whatever is in the fridge. Need help getting started with meal planning? Join the Mommy Tried It Community. You’ll get instant access to all my freebies, weekly meal plans, and a blank meal planning template!

Eat Leftovers

Reducing food waste means not wasting food. I know it sounds obvious but it’s that simple. We have very few meals in my house where we eat everything prepared. We always end up with a bit of peas or a serving of casserole left over. I’m fortunate to love left overs for lunch. It makes lunch time so much easier for me! But, I know there are people who aren’t huge fans of left overs, so you may have to get creative in how you use up food.  Hopefully, there is at least one person in your house that likes left overs, but if you aren’t a fan there are lots of foods you can repurpose. I often use chicken breasts from other meals at lunch time and turn them into a yummy wrap or salad. If it’s a breaded chicken I will put it on lettuce and toss with some bbq sauce and ranch. Top with some crunchy onion straws and gorgonzola for a delicious bbq ranch chicken salad. If it’s a plainer chicken it’s easy to dice up with to create a salad with some avocado and black beans to create a Tex Mex chicken salad. Are you a leftovers person? Share your favorite ways to use leftovers in the comments.

I have a set similar to this and really like it for storing all the leftovers.

Have one week a month as a “no-spend” week

I’ve seen similar ideas on social media, and maybe you have too. The concept is to pick a week of each month, like the last week, and commit to not spending any money. I know this is something I want to commit too. It’s a great idea to curb over spending in all areas of life, but let’s talk about how this can translate to grocery shopping. When the fourth week of the month comes along shop the first day of the week to buy essentials, but then do your best to not shop the rest of the week. Buy only fresh things you will need for the week like vegetables, fruit, milk, eggs, and bread. Otherwise make your meal plan using up those frozen chicken breasts or pantry staples. Repurpose leftovers for a second meal. One of my favorite things to do is cook once and eat twice! I cook twice as much chicken or ground beef as I need then use it for two meals. I know if I dig in my fridge, freezer, and pantry I can come up with a week’s worth of meals. I always seem to have frozen proteins that need to be thawed and eaten not to mention plenty of beans and pasta on hand. Not convinced? Check out this list of 15 Cheap Pantry Meals from Graceful Little Honey Bee. As time goes on practicing this you’ll get more creative!


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