Did you know that although Canadians are among the world’s best-fed, more than half (51%) of the food we buy every year ends up in the bin? About $27 billion worth. That means it’s possible to save up to half your food budget with some careful planning and creativity.
10 things you can do to reduce kitchen waste:
1. Before you shop, take inventory and make a list. Don’t forget to take your own bag
2. Don’t shop when you are hungry
3. Buy less – you can always go back if you need more
4. Buy in bulk, and take your own containers
5. Choose organic and buy local to support the local economy, and minimize environmental impact
6. Buy ugly fruit. Imperfect is still delicious. You’ll save it from the dumpster – and your budget.
7. Organize fridge and freezer – If it’s tidy, you’ll find things easily, and use them in time.
Use bins to store:
- Everything with a short life at eye level to eat first
- Similar items in one place like nut butters and jam, and nuts and seeds.
Put items in the right place
- Dairy items (like milk, yogurt and cheese) in middle of the fridge, where its warmer
- Meats in the bottom where it’s coldest
- Fruits and veggies in drawers where it’s driest
- Leftovers at eye level.
8. Make friends with your freezer
- Keep your veggie scraps until you have enough to make soup stock – including peels, herb stems, leek greens and onion tops. Ditto for meat and fish bones and scraps
- Keep overripe bananas and other fruit for smoothies
- Chop up bruised or overripe tomatoes, and leftover canned tomato puree to add to pasta sauce and soups.
9. Get creative!
Challenge yourself to use everything!
- Make croutons or breadcrumbs from stale bread
- Fold last night’s stir-fry veggies into an omelet or wrap
- Puree leftover veggies with homemade stock to make soup
- Add chopped kale stems to stir fries or green juice
- Save ginger and orange peel to make tea. Just add honey
- Grate citrus peels to add ‘zest’ steamed veg, casseroles, muffins and cookies
- Add rich, salty parmesan rind to stocks, soups, bean dishes and risotto
- Add herb stems to rice, quinoa or pasta water. Remove before serving
- Put sauces like pesto into ice cube trays or muffin tins for single-servings portions.