Organizers Guide to Reduce Food Waste

Organizers Guide to Reduce Food Waste

In today’s world, food waste has become a significant issue that impacts many households. With the rising cost of groceries, reducing this waste can help your family save money. With a bit of creativity and planning, you can reduce food waste in your home while still enjoying a variety of delicious meals. The goal is to enjoy what you have in stock while it is fresh before purchasing more. So how do we do that? Here’s our guide to turning potential waste into delicious meals.

Kitchen Inventory

This first step to really taking control of your food waste is to know what you currently have in your pantry, cabinets, and fridge. Taking stock of what you have already purchased will help you avoid buying duplicates and ensure you use the items before they expire.

This is also a great opportunity to declutter and organize your food storage areas. Discard any expired items and place items to the front that have the closest expiration date. Group similar items together to help you quickly see what you have to work with when beginning to plan your meals.

Organizers Guide to Reduce Food Waste

Meal Planning

Now that you have a solid inventory of your kitchen, let’s reverse the meal planning process. Instead of planning meals and then shopping for ingredients, plan meals based on the ingredients you already have. You can look up recipes on Google that include the ingredients you need to use up. Get creative and consider flexible recipes like stir-fries, soups, casseroles and salads. These can easily be adjusted to work with a variety of ingredients. Set aside time each week to create a menu. It’s important to plan meals that fit your schedule. Choose quick and easy recipes for those busy evenings where time for cooking is limited.

Let’s go shopping for missing ingredients! Using the menu you created from the food you already have in stock, write down your shopping list. Taking the time to create a menu and shopping list will help you buy only what you need. This reduces the likelihood of impulse or unnecessary purchases which inevitably leads to food going bad before you can use it.

Leveraging Leftovers

Getting creative with your leftovers can lead to exciting new dishes all while reducing food waste. If you know you will have leftover meat from a meal, incorporate recipes into your menu for the week to use that food. Turn last night’s roast chicken into a chicken salad or tacos. Soups or stews are also great ways to repurpose your leftover meats and veggies. This can also help you to plan a quick meal for one of those busy, time crunched evenings.

Another great option to utilize leftovers is preserving them in the freezer. This works well if you don’t like eating leftovers immediately. Pop them in the freezer and when you pull them out to enjoy later, it will be like you are enjoying a new meal. 

Precise Cooking

Not a fan of leftovers? Learning the art of cooking only what you need is a simple yet effective way to minimize waste. The key to this process is learning the right portion sizes for you and your family. Each member may have differing needs and preferences in the amount of food they consume at each meal. A seven year old will likely not have the same appetite as a teenager, right? This will take some trial and error that can be helped by measuring tools. If you’re working from a recipe that serves more than you need, adjust the quantities. By planning portions carefully and preparing just enough food for your meals, you can enjoy fresh dishes without the worry of excess leftovers.

Organizers Guide to Reduce Food Waste

We are living in a time of plentiful grocery availability. There is less need to stock up on processed food. Reducing food waste starts with a mindful approach to what’s already in your kitchen. Embracing these habits will help you save money, enjoy new recipes and contribute to a sustainable kitchen and a healthier planet. Bonus ~ you get to enjoy having a clutter free and organized kitchen that works for you!

If you need a hand decluttering and organizing your home, we’re here to help! 
Are you local to Winston-Salem, North Carolina and surrounding areas?
Contact Organized Jill for a complimentary consultation.