Reducing Food Waste AND Your Grocery Bill

Did you know that the average American family throws away approximately 25 percent of the food they buy annually?  Want a close estimate of what that means in dollars and cents?  It means that about $1,500  is literally thrown in the family trashcan.  Some stats say that translates into 25 percent of the world’s children not eating as well as your garbage bin does. Further, it’s been noted that the amount of food wasted on a global scale, if not wasted, could actually eliminate world hunger problems.

If you’ve ever wanted to not only eat smart but also be smart about food as a whole, you may want to look into different ways to reduce food waste. Reducing food waste can reduce your grocery bill as well.

Are you interesting in doing your part to reduce food waste, reduce your monthly spending and helping to take care of our planet? You might be surprised and how easy it can be.  Author, speaker and successful blogger, Bea Johnson, has proven you can live almost completely waste free. Get this:  Bea and her family only generate a quart size jar of waste per year!

If you are thinking that’s pretty incredible, we agree. And, for most of us, that seems impossible. Still, in true Walkingspree fashion, we do think it’s worth mentioning that every little step counts. Whether you are looking to eat better, lose weight, or help our planet by reducing waste, each step counts. If you agree with us, we have a few quick tips to help you reduce food waste and your grocery bill. Many of these tips are on Bea Johnson’s blog but she tells her readers that they are a condensed version. The in-depth cool stuff is in her book, Zero Waste Home.

(1) Shop smarter. Invest in recyclable shopping bags and never go to the store without a list. Shopping with a list can reduce impulse buys but it can force you to check your current supplies before you leave. If you build your list from memory, instead of actually looking in your pantry or refrigerator, you are more likely to buy food you aren’t out of yet  “just to be on the safe side.”

(2) Reuse your supply containers, carriers and cleaning items. Bea says to “arm yourself with a reusable water bottle, a couple grocery totes, a few cloth bags and reusable jars and bottles. She also champions the 5Rs and in the same order every time. Get your 5Rs right: Refuse what you do not need, Reduce what you do need, Reuse what you consume, Recycle what you cannot Refuse, Reduce or Reuse, and Rot (Compost) the rest.

(3) Be smart about how much you eat as well as how much you buy. If your recipe calls for a teaspoon of lemon juice, and your would normally not use multiple lemons before your next shopping trip, you don’t need to buy 6 because they are 6 for a $1.50.

(4) Unclutter and organize the kitchen. Using glass jars so you can see the contents easily also let’s you access what you need quickly. Don’t be afraid to switch to an “all drawer” refrigerator.  These can eliminate forgetting about (and wasting) food at the back of a shelf.

(5) Bea says: “Buy in bulk or at the counter (see Zero Waste Grocery Shopping), bring reusable bags (dry goods), jars (wet items such as meat, deli, fish, cheese, oil, peanut butter) and bottles (liquids: oil, soy sauce, shampoo, conditioner).”

(6) Use your trashcan for compost storage. Use your small compost keeper as your regular trash can.

(7) Reinvent left overs. Don’t pop them in a container and let them sit in the refrigerator until mold grows. Create a new dish or meal using food from the previous day.

We think that people who seek to live more meaningful and intentional lives are happier in general. Bea Johnson’s philosophy fits right in with these thoughts.

“Since embarking on the Zero Waste lifestyle, our lives have changed for the better: We feel happier and lead more meaningful lives, based on experiences instead of stuff. My goal is to share its incredible health, financial and time saving benefits!” ~Bea Johnson.

If you are interested in learning more about how to reduce food waste, reduce food costs and simultaneously help the planet, be sure to check out Bea’s blog for more great tips on enjoying a Zero Waste lifestyle.

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