Dollars and Sense

The Easiest Way to Stop Wasting Food

$165 billion dollars per year.

35 million tons of food.

Do we really waste that much when we throw away food? Yes, according to CNBC: they state that these numbers work out to up to $2,200 in wasted food per family per year (you can read the full article here).

That’s a lot of money. But there’s a way to reduce that number.

My biggest problem when knowing whether or not to toss something was how long it’s been sitting opened in the fridge. Has it been a few days? A week? A month?  It used to be that the majority of the time I just didn’t remember, so I followed the “better safe than sorry” route and threw it away.

Until I came up with the “dot” method for my fridge items.

Now when opening a perishable item for the first time, I have a package of neon dot stickers and a pen in a kitchen drawer nearby and I write the month/day on a dot and stick it on the item before putting it back in the fridge. Why the dots? Pencil/pen ink doesn’t stick to waxy  or plastic cartons, and the bright dots show up easily.

Later, when looking for what I need to use up, or when cleaning out the fridge, I know exactly when something was opened, and whether I need to eat it soon, or still have a bit more time. The dots are easy to find in the office supply section of stores and will only cost you $2-3 dollars.

Once the dot method is a habit, you won’t be tossing open food just because you have no idea how old it is!

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 10.08.18 PM

(Another great way to avoid tossing out food is to make the “I Don’t Know, What Do You Want For Dinner?” meal in Edibles!)

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3 thoughts on “The Easiest Way to Stop Wasting Food”

  1. I love this idea!
    We used to be awful with this and there would be a few heated conversations every few weeks. Now we purchase less and if I open something that I won’t be using completely we immediately search for other uses. My recent bit was not wasting half a can of coconut milk by making myself smoothies for a week.
    ML has taken over working with veggies as I’m still a bit slack when it comes to using them all int ime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! You’re right, purchasing less definitely helps with having less food waste. For using veggies up in time, sometimes I just throw them all in a frying pan with some seasonings/olive oil/beans and then cook and serve over rice- you can come up with some interesting combinations that way! 🙂

      Like

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