New Year’s Resolutions
Make 2020 the Year You Waste Less Food
(while saving money and eating healthier meals)
It’s a new year, and good intentions abound. Maybe yours are to shop less, cook more fresh meals instead of eating out, and tread more lightly on the Earth. Resolve to waste less food, and you can achieve all three of those goals. In fact, reducing food waste is one of the easiest things you can do to fight climate change! Let’s get started with a fridge clean-out.
“Eat Down” Your Fridge
After the holidays, your fridge may look something like this: extra eggs, butter, and cream from baking; veggies you ended up not using; some leftover pasta or rice; maybe a half-eaten rotisserie chicken and other bits of meat. Resist the urge to toss it all in the compost. Before you shop for more, try to “eat down” your fridge first. Add ingredients from your pantry, such as grains, beans, and canned goods, and you’ll be amazed at how many tasty meals you can serve from foods you already have. You’ll be sparing your bank account and wasting less.
• Try making this fried rice, a delicious stir fry made from leftover rice, chopped veggies, bits of meat, and a couple of eggs. Since there’s no need to stick to specific types or amounts of ingredients, making this dish is a great option for using up what you already have.
• Leftover cooked pasta and eggs make the base for pasta frittata. Supplement with chopped cooked veggies and bits of meat like cold cuts or grilled chicken.
• Not sure if your eggs are still fresh? If the expiration date has passed, they may still be good to eat. Try this quick egg test to find out.
• Overripe fruit can look unappealing, but it’s the perfect ingredient for a tasty breakfast smoothie. Blend fruit by itself or add extra milk or yogurt you want to use up.
• Anytime you find that you bought more bread than you and your guests were able to eat, slice and freeze it in sealed plastic bags. You can take out and toast frozen slices as needed. If your bread has gone stale, make croutons or breadcrumbs to use later, or turn it into a delicious bread pudding.
Create New Routines
Throwing away less food—and money—isn’t rocket science, but you may need to form some new habits. With a few weeks of practice, you’ll find yourself shopping more intentionally, cooking more often, and getting more creative in the kitchen.
• Before you shop, plan the meals you’ll eat at home and list items and quantities needed. “Shop” your fridge, freezer, and cupboards for ingredients first, then make a digital shopping list or download and print one here.
• Store fruits and veggies correctly to make them last longer, and build meals around the ones that need to be eaten first. Bonus: You’ll find you have fresh produce more often! Download and print our storage guide here and keep it handy.
• Designate an area inside your fridge for foods that need to be eaten soon. It helps to clearly mark it with a sign (download and print here). When you plan your meals, “shop” this area first.
For more tips on how to make the most of the food we love visit stopfoodwaste.org.