Do you ever go food shopping, think you'll eat everything but instead end up throwing away half of what was bought or cooked? You're not alone, which is part of the reason why this needs to be addressed. There are small steps you can take to reduce food waste and save money, so take control of your fridge now!
Shop Smart & Make A Plan
Start with a plan and writing down healthy ideas for what you want to eat this week. Be realistic about your schedule and what you'll actually have time to eat or cook. Then sketch out a quick grocery list that will see you through the end of the week. Bonus points for adding frozen goods, for that will last a whole lot longer. You need to start shopping with purpose and truly take into account how much food you can eat in a week. Walking into the store with a list in hand will keep you focused with exactly what you need, as you'll save a ton of money this way as well.
Take Advantage Of Leftovers
Especially when you're a college student, leftovers can be the greatest gift so you don't have to cook for a few days. No matter what your situation is though, you should be taking advantage of what is cooked - instead of just throwing it away. Pack your leftovers for lunch, plan a "leftovers night" once a week, or turn them into another meal. If you're certain it will not be eaten before it spoils, then make the most of your freezer and save it for the future. Once defrosted, it'll be as if no time has passed at all, and you can enjoy it the same. To keep your leftovers organized, be sure to label what's in a container and the date it was made. This easily creates order so items don't pile up, and you know which items to eat first before they spoil.
Cook With Scraps & Note What You're Tossing
Food spoils after a certain amount of time no matter what. Nonetheless, this can help you greatly when it comes to reducing food waste and saving money. When you do clear out your fridge, pay attention to what is being thrown away, and buy less of that item next week. If things are going stale too fast, put them in your fridge or freezer sooner. In addition, try not to toss "waste" that you're cutting up. Keep an eye on your scraps as they can easily be used in cooking something else. Onion, carrot, celery ends, chicken bones, shrimp shells, and Parmesan cheese rinds make delicious soups and stocks. Cilantro stems and carrot tops are flavorful garnishes, as potato peels can be baked to create crispy chips. Get creative with scraps moving forward!