Shop to reduce food waste
Moldy bread, sour milk, and wilted veggies — these are all common outcomes of buying too much food.
Monthly Topic Overview
Reduce food waste at home and save money by following our easy, simple tips on how to shop to reduce food waste:
Before you head to the store…
- Shop your kitchen. Inventory which food items you already have in the refrigerator and pantry to avoid buying duplicates.
- Make a list. What meals or dishes do you plan to make this week? Identify which ingredients you will need and add them to the list.
- Looking for list-making resources? Check out the many available grocery list phone apps, such as AnyList, Mealime, or OurGroceries. If you prefer a paper list, check out this shopping list template.
- Eat a snack or meal. It is important to avoid grocery shopping when hungry as you are more susceptible to impulse purchases and over-buying.
Once at the store…
- Think realistically about items on sale, such as “10 for $5”. It may seem like a tempting deal, but will you actually be able to consume ten? If not, you could end up with food waste, which results in money wasted.
- Control quantity. To have better control of quantity when purchasing produce items, opt for unpackaged fresh fruits and vegetables. (Added climate benefit: you reduce packaging, too!)
- Shop Your Kitchen:
- Before going to the grocery store, “shop” your kitchen and make a list of what items you need. Stick to the list during shopping!
- Don’t Shop When Hungry:
- Eat a snack or meal before grocery shopping. See if you notice a difference in your shopping habits.
- Serve Smart to Reduce Food Waste (short video)
- Shopping Tips from I Value Food
- Meal Prep Mate from Save the Food
- Guest-imator from Save the Food: This tool helps with large meal or party planning to better estimate how much food you will need before heading to the grocery store.
- Fruit & Veggie Storage Guide from Stop Food Waste: Love Food, Fight Waste will be highlighting food storage in August, but to learn more now, check out this guide.