Listen to this: Consumer Reports says by cutting back on food waste, a family of four can save about $1,500 a year.
“If you’re throwing out a lot, you might be buying too much food,” said Consumer Reports Nutritionist Amy Keating. “Shopping with a list can keep you focused on what you’ll actually use.”
To avoid finding squishy veggies in the back of the fridge bins, plan to use up your fresh fruits and vegetables in the order they go bad. For instance, eat frail fruits and vegetables like leafy greens and berries before hardier ones like brussels sprouts or carrots.
CONSUMER REPORTS: Answers to food safety and healthy eating questions
Freezing extra batches of chili or leftovers is a great way to cut back waste -- but only if you get around to eating them. Mark leftovers with the date you froze them and include them in your meal plan.
“Try to use up everything. Give your wraps, soups and burritos a nutritional boost with leftover veggies. And ripe fruits that are not their prettiest make delicious smoothies, while adding fiber,” explained Keating.
You can also consider buying frozen produce. Consumer Reports says it’s just as nutritious a choice as fresh, and you can take out only what you need while keeping the rest frozen.
Keep your dry goods in clear, airtight packaging. Not only will they be less susceptible to dampness and mold, but you’re more likely to use up what you can actually see.
Also, if your produce has gotten gross enough to toss, compost it instead. It will turn into nutrient-rich soil that you can use to help grow your own produce.
Lastly, so your eggs and milk will stay fresh longer, store them on a shelf inside your refrigerator -- instead of on your fridge door. Consumer Reports tests have found the door is generally a few degrees warmer than the rest of the shelves.