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Did you know that one-third of the food produced for consumption each year is wasted? (source) That’s 1.3 billion tons, and most of it is vegetables and fruits.

Food waste is a hot topic in our home. We very rarely throw away food because a) we buy expensive products (organic and alternative), b) we have a large family (four children), and c) there are other things to do with excess food.

If you’re lamenting how much food you waste every week, here are some ideas for how to reduce food waste.

Tips for Reducing Food Waste

Apply small portions

We add small portions to our children because we never know which dish they will eat with appetite and ask for supplements. And which they will simply refuse. It is safer for us to add a small serving and then give them a second serving if they are still hungry.

Save Leftovers

Children are known to not finish their food. I don’t like the idea of ​​making them finish their plate if they say they are not hungry. Instead, we tell them that everything is fine. They don’t have to finish eating, but we will save their leftovers for the next lunch or dinner.


If you buy or grow foods in bulk and can’t use them quickly enough.; there are other ways to reduce food waste. Freezing, canning, salting, and drying are great ways to preserve food. so you spend less while restocking your freezer or pantry.

Make a versatile soup or stew

When they give me extra vegetables, or I realize that I have food left in the refrigerator. The easiest way to use them without wasting money is to make a universal soup. Throw in vegetables, broth, meat, and spices, and you have a versatile dish. 

If you don’t trust your culinary skills enough to make a soup, search Pinterest. For the ingredients you have, and I guarantee there is a recipe that’s right for you.

Make homemade broth

If you have mirepoix (carrots, onions, celery), you can make any kind of homemade broth. Vegetable broth is the easiest, but if you have any meat leftover, like chicken or turkey. Just toss it along with mirepoix and cook for even longer for super healthy bone broth. I often cook broth on the stovetop, but you can do it in the instant pot as well to speed up the process.

Saute the vegetables

If your vegetables become mushy too quickly, try sautéing them instead of throwing them away. Frying vegetables not only gives a ton of flavor, but also makes them crispier. Season them with oil and basic spices like salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Make a smoothie

If you have overripe fruit, it’s a great idea to make a smoothie. When I have several brown bananas at the same time. I peel them, cut them in half, and freeze them in the freezer. Then I take out one of them every time I want to make a smoothie.

Bake dessert

Overripe fruits are also ideal for baking desserts. From banana bread to chocolate zucchini bread to fruit cobs, there is the perfect recipe for your overripe fruit.

Choose the right storage

How you store food plays a big role in how long it will last. Use airtight containers for storing food in the pantry or on a shelf, opaque breathable containers for storing potatoes and onions. And containers for storing fruits and vegetables if your refrigerator drawers do not allow you to store enough food.

Plan your meals

Planning your meals for the week will not only save you money and time. But it will also help you buy exactly the amount of food. You need and prioritize your cooking. Plan to use fresh vegetables at the start of the week to prevent spoilage, and set aside shelf-friendly ingredients. Until the end of the week. {See my advice on meal planning}.

Prepare food

Once you’ve planned your meals, you can start your week by cutting vegetables, prepping or preparing meat ahead of time. This will cut down on the time you spend preparing dinner. Every night and help you avoid wasting food hidden in the back of the refrigerator.


If the food is no longer usable, you can always compost it. In our last house, we had a large compost heap where we dumped all the food scraps. And considering that I cook most of the dishes from scratch, we have a lot of scraps. All the peels, hearts, skins, and seeds went into this pile, and we used its mud to grow our tomatoes.

 Even if you don’t have room or desire for a compost heap in your yard. You can compost in your yard tumbler. (it’s smaller and tidier) or in a small container that stays in your kitchen.

Feed your pets or animals

We do not have animals, but many people feed table leftovers. To pets or animals on their property to avoid food waste and also save on animal feed.

Cook in bulk

If you have a bunch of foods that you fear might go bad. Take a couple of hours in one day to cook them all. Oftentimes, I cook two casseroles and freeze one casserole for the evening. Cooking food in large quantities not only reduces food waste, but also makes better use of your time.

Use leftover food for lunch

In our house, food leftovers are like gold. They make my lunch easier when I’m at home all day and make it easy to send my husband to work with something useful.


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