According the United Nations Environment Program, around 30-40% of the food supply in the U.S. is wasted, equaling more than 20 pounds of food per person per month! Worldwide, about 1 in 4 calories intended for consumption is never actually eaten (see more stats here). Those facts blow my mind! Especially when it is so easy to use the food that you buy, minimizing the amount that is wasted. Here are some steps you can take to decrease your food waste on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
1. Meal plan
It sounds basic, but simply planning to use what you plan to buy is one of the most effective ways to cut down on food waste. This will assure that fresh food is used quickly and completely. Pick one day of the week as your "meal planning day" (mine is Monday night) - preferably close to your shopping day (mine is Tuesday morning). When planning, be sure to assess your current stores in the fridge, freezer and pantry before bringing in more. Finally, consider which meals often create leftover components, such as rice or potatoes. Use those for dinner 1-2 days after the first meal to assure that component get eaten.