How to Avoid Food Waste to Save Money?


Do you know that you can raise a big amount of money by just avoiding food wasting in your home?

Perhaps it's not known to the vast majority of us that millions of tons of food are wasted each year in our country. And it translates to a huge amount of money.

five great ways to eliminate food waste

So if you're on the look-out for best ways on how to save money, another great thing to do is to eliminate the food waste that comes from your own kitchen.

Below are the top 5 of the things that I do in my daily quest to achieve zero food waste and save money in this area.

They are all easy-to-follow and very effective as I'm always inspired doing each of them.

How to save money by avoiding food waste in our homes?

1. Eat zero waste produce

If we throw other parts of vegetables or fruits and only eat the main parts, aren't we guilty of wasting food? No, if the parts we throw are inedible.

But we still contribute to the accumulation of landfills. On top of that, those parts are still bought and still translate to money spent.

Interestingly, produce with all edible parts are the ones that contain the most nutrients.

But the most surprising fact is the high concentration of vitamins and nutrients are found in the parts that we throw all the time like the skin.

Because these crops are extremely nutritious in all parts, you get the most bang for your buck when you buy them.

So, if you want to avoid wasting food by throwing parts of produce that you thought before as toxic and trash, consider getting fruits and vegetables with all-edible parts and extremely nutritious at that.

Broccoli is a zero-waste produce as you can eat it from florets down to the stalk.
Broccoli is one of the zero-waste produce crops as you can eat it from the florets down to the stalk.

I call them zero waste produce. Ten of them are:

  • apple
  • broccoli
  • carrot
  • celery
  • chayote
  • cucumber
  • potato
  • spinach
  • squash
  • sweet potato

Do you know that — The underrated sweet potato which, as shocking to you as it might sound, ranks number one vegetable when it comes to nutrition?

All you have to do is to wash them thoroughly enough to completely rid of all the dirt, cut them, and cook to your liking. With squash, separate the seeds and you can dry them and boil.

The only item in the list that contains a part that you might avoid is apple because of its core and seeds.

But mind you, the entire apple including the core and the seeds is edible, and these parts are as nutritious as the main part.

However, if you still can't eat the core and seeds, put them in the compost so that they don't go into waste.

Bottom line

Don't peel squash, sweet potato, carrot, chayote, apple, cucumber, and potato. Don't throw stems of spinach. Likewise, cook and eat the stalks and leaves of broccoli. Lastly, leaves of celery are as nutritious as its stalk. Start eating all of their parts, and you don't only eliminate food waste, you also save money and lead a healthy life.

2. Don't stock too many perishables

Stockpiling of too many perishables leads to food waste because even if you don't intend, you often incline to cut off parts that got withered.

Even refrigerated and stored inside the crisper section, there are a number of vegetables and fruits that “just” easily get wilted if they sit there for a longer time than what is allowable.

Every time it happens, you trim the affected vegetables, you wash the trimmed stuff extra longer than ordinary, and you toss the discarded rotten parts onto trash bin just next to your sink.

It's so convenient. You have cleaned vegetables ready for cooking — again. But look at what got dissipated: much-needed nutrients, your valuable time and your hard-earned money.

What you need to know is the shelf life in the refrigerator of each of your perishables. Onions, potatoes, apples, etc., can be stored for over a month in the fridge.

Avoid food waste by not stockpiling too much perishables.
You can avoid food-waste by not stockpiling too many perishables.

Leafy veggies such as napa cabbage, bok choy, pechay, and moringa leaves are prone to easily drying out.

So, either buy just enough of these leafy veggies that'll last 3-days in the fridge or use a hack that can help in prolonging their freshness.

Check out the trick that I use in the next paragraph. Once you have figured out the shelf-life in the refrigerator of the crops you use, you can plan your grocery shopping so that you only buy those items that you or your family can consume before they get shriveled.

There are times that some perishables get stored in the veggies box longer. If it's really inevitable, then follow this simple trick:

  1. Wrap each bundle of your leafy veggies in used newspapers to prolong the freshness.
  2. I've had done that with pechay and the veggies always remain fresh for 2 weeks.
  3. The trick is to make sure that the wrappings are sealed.
  4. Another layer of plastic wrap would ensure there are no openings in your wrappings.

Bottom line

Wilted vegetables tend to develop fungi and bacteria, which is why trimming out affected areas makes sense. Health is still our primary concern in improving our day to day living. But if we consume the crops we buy, quickly, surely we can accomplish three great things — avoid food waste, save money, and lead a healthy life.

3. Minimize and manage your leftovers

There will always be leftovers in our kitchen and dining tables, right? That's what the fridge is for, after all.

But sometimes if not most of the time, different sizes of plastic containers with leftovers occupy much space in the fridge that we can no longer conveniently put groceries that we just bought.

That could result in you throwing out stale foods. That is because these leftovers can only remain pleasant to eat for so long in the refrigerator. Once mold develops in the food, you won't eat it.

By managing leftover foods, you can minimize food-waste at your kitchen.

The best way to get around this situation is to manage your leftovers. Consider these two things:

  1. Add a small task in your refrigerator chores. Regularly check the content of each plastic container that you use for leftovers because that's the area problems occur for the most part. We forget what we put inside the fridge. So, keep track of your leftovers.
  2. Decrease the number of times that you cook in a day. Refrain from doing a lot of cooking. You can only do that if you have crystal-clear knowledge of all plastic containers' content in your ref. So number one plays an important role in adhering to number two rule here.

By strictly following these two rules, you get to consume your leftovers fast. You will develop a habit of automatic response to peckishness that only involved ref-to-microwave or — ref-to-stove — food preparation, which is quick.

You'll always be aware that you have ready dishes in your fridge and that you don't need to cook for the next meal-time.

It becomes automatic to use up the leftovers one after another until they're all gone. Result: No food spoilage, no stale food and above all no food waste.

Bottom line

Every leftover has undergone through the process of buying, preparation, and cooking, which involved time, energy, and money. If we view leftovers as less of a “brand-new meal” that only eaten on a later time, we will just keep on cooking and postpone reheating. Always go for your leftovers, reheat, and you'll have a sumptuous meal just the same. That's how to avoid food waste from your own cooking.

4. Eat more dish than rice

Do you know that you will save a lot if you eat more dishes than what we used to consume, which is rice?

Eating more dish with a small portion of rice in a meal affects major aspects of our life, in a very beneficial way.

Aside from contributing to the elimination of food waste, great improvements will happen to our health, finances, and social responsibility.

By having in a plate 50% veggies, 25% meat, 15% rice and 10% for a slice of fruit, you get to feel full without storing much of the carbohydrates in your body. By having that kind of meal, right after, you get to drink 2-3 glasses of water without which optimum nutrition absorption won't happen. Do that 3-times a day, and you will save money on illnesses.

Eating more dishes than rice helps minimize food waste.
Eating more nutritious dishes helps avoid food waste and, it'll make you healthier, as well.

The trick is to minimize sugar getting into your body. In reality, we can't follow daily strict health regimens like we can't totally avoid coffee&donuts for a snack or the halo-halo and stuff.

But if you follow a 50-25-15-10 rule I've just mentioned, you will have a buffer as the protection for too much sugar exposure. Ultimately, this leads to avoidance of wasting of rice.

When we eat rice in unlimited passion, there's always a big portion left uneaten. When do we see our plates without scraps after eating? The way we eat rice, there's always rice that goes to trash.

By eating a small portion of rice, you don't leave a grain of it in the plate, not a bit. In the process, you're giving a hand in the alleviation of rice shortage.

You indirectly involved yourself so that more people especially those who are poorer can have enough rice available for them.

So, next time you're going to have your meal, try yourself into this challenge, and while on it, imagine yourself without fat belly, think about the amount you save in the long run and how healthy you will become and above all, ponder about how huge the help you're extending to others by not wasting rice.

Bottom line

If you can manage to consume rice in your plate with no scraps left, you achieve zero food waste on rice. But it also offers a bunch of advantages for you. We need rice to fuel our body, but only in the right amount. When we eat rice, it equals to ingesting sugar. Too much sugar in the body causes diabetes. Eat less rice, take the right path to a healthier life, and avoid unnecessary food waste.

5. Let peckishness dictates times to eat

Eating too much per meal is not healthy, and it can pose existential wastage.

Even if you follow number 4 (above) but you eat way too much, it's a sure way of having leftover in your plate which will be thrown out.

Worst still, you're missing out on a healthy way of eating which in the long run would cause symptoms of an unhealthy body. What follows is unwanted expenses on health problems.

What you want is to avoid wasteful lifestyle while maintaining your health to the optimum. The trick is so simple. Give your body the opportunities to feel mild hunger at the right times. During each time that you're peckish, eat. Simple. But again, eat in small quantity every time.

Eating in small portions in a day helps avoid food waste.
Eating only when you're peckish has a lot of advantages among them is you enjoy the taste stronger than when you eat without feeling a bit hungry.

You can only do that if your every last meal is just enough to feel full. Just eat what you need to support your level of activity.

If it's a snack time, cut on the serving even if you have to eat 2-snacks or even 3-snacks before the main meal.

When you eat in a small serving, you'll never leave the vessel you use without completely devouring the food, leaving no scraps. Your vessel, be it a saucer, a small bowl or a plate is as clean as — wiped. And you feel happy that no food waste is produced.

But the amazing result is in your body. Because by following that, you actually give yourself a big favor of attaining ideal weight, possessing a flat belly, and the feeling that your energy level is always through the roof. Eat small but highly nutritious food, that's the key.

Bottom line

Feeling peckish right before we eat makes us enjoy the food. Taste buds become more sensitive to tastes. We tend to enjoy more because we cherish each bite. Slow eating becomes so natural as your eyes are glued to the food. You chew your food well. You take your time. Your dopamine level goes up, which makes your eating even more healthy. The result, you'll finish the food without any scraps.

Final thoughts

Wastefulness in eating habit affects not only food resources and supplies for many people, mostly in need. Wastefulness breeds unwariness of one's total being and of others. If we start doing something to eliminate food waste, better improvement of our lives and health will follow suit. And, most of all we save money, considerably.

How do you avoid food waste in your home? Can you please share to us? That way, we'll all contribute to minimizing food waste. Share your ideas in the comments' below.

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Vernie Mallorca is an entrepreneur and blogger with years of experience in selling to institutional accounts. He gradually shifted to blogging when he found out that it is his calling to write timely and helpful articles online that can help others to save money, make money, and secure their future by handling their income smartly. In this blog, he shares both managing your finances, however small it is and valuable information on running a small business.

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