Reducing food waste not only saves the planet but also your wallet! This Thrifty Thursday we wanted to share some food waste reduction tips that are accessible to all eaters and don’t require you to purchase fresh, and often expensive, produce.
A member of our Food Shift community, Leticia Padilla from Oakland Pallet, has a strategy called “Shop the Fridge” where you “shop” around in your fridge (and your freezer and pantry!) first before going shopping, to mentally compartmentalize what you already have and what you need to make a meal. This habit not only decreases how much food you end up throwing out from your fridge but also lowers your weekly grocery bill. Download the shopping list template that includes accounting for what you already have here.
How about looking out for cheaper alternatives in your grocery store? In many cases, the same flavor profile of a dish can be achieved with more affordable alternatives. Produce in peak season and more plentiful are often less expensive. Freezing and preserving food can often lower your costs as well and can provide you with fresh flavors year round! Many french style sauces will call for shallots, but instead try using sweet onions! Another great onion tip is if you see green shoots sprouting from your onion, you can simply cut off the head and plant it in the ground! Dried beans per pound are much cheaper and less wasteful in packaging than canned beans. If you’re worried about cooking up too many beans, you can freeze your leftovers for up to two months!
Remember that giving food a second life and decreasing food waste not only helps the planet but increases the affordability of your meals!
Learn more about Food Shift and their programs to rescue surplus food that would otherwise waste away in landfills and utilize it to fuel their social enterprise kitchen.