One of my largest goals this year was to decrease our grocery budget. I felt like we had so much food, but I was always missing a few ingredients when it came to making meals. Things would expire and money would basically be thrown in the trash week after week.
One study says that Americans waste nearly half the food they purchase every year*.
I have a few “secret” weapons I have been using to reach my goal, but one of my biggest secret weapon to combat waste is my “To Make” and my “To Use” bin in my pantry and my fridge.
My “To Make” Bin
This bin gives me easy access to whatever meal I plan to make for the next meal and keeps the ingredients from cluttering up my counter space. It also gives me a visual reminder that if it is empty than I need to get the ingredients out for the next meal. No more “what’s for dinner” at 5pm. No more “I forgot to defrost said food”.
My “To Use” Bin
This bin gives me another visual reminder of what needs to be used first. In the fridge this could include leftovers or soon-to-be expired food. In the pantry this include bread, chips that have been opened, baked goods, or again soon-to-be expired food. Depending on how much food we have on hand, we may have two of these bins.
In the end anything that needs to be used in the next few weeks should be placed in these bins.
These bins will save you time, save you money and make cleanup a breeze.
The next step is look at these bins when you start making your meal plan. See what meals you can make with these items. Also, note what your family is not eating so you don’t continue to purchase them and have them go to waste.
I would love to hear your ideas on how to decrease food waste below.