Food waste prevention is a big deal. A lot of money is lost each year linked to food waste. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723314/  Food waste prevention steps can save money, reduce hunger in our communities, help you get your food supplies better organized and nutritionally healthy, protect the environment, and engage the family in group food waste prevention activities.

There are so many ways you can accomplish this mission in your home. It takes effort, commitment, and practice. Everyone needs to pay attention to the food we eat and how we handle it. Here are some smart ideas and tips to get you started.

13 Quick Tips to Reduce Food Waste


  • Plan your weekly meals so that you only purchase what you and your family will consume.
  • Look in your pantry, cabinets, and refrigerator first before taking another trip to the grocery store, so that you can use up this food before buying more of the same.
  • Read the expiration dates on the labels.  The goal is to not have to toss out anything too old.
  • Don’t let good food go bad! Some perishable foods are edible only for a short time, so eat those foods first.
  • Shop from a grocery list. Plan healthy meals at home before shopping and stick to your meal plan.
  • Avoid shopping when you are hungry because you might spend more than you budgeted.
  • Keep it simple and buy only what you need.
  • Share extra food with other family members or friends.
  • Keep perishable foods visible in your refrigerator, so they can be used first. Consider labeling foods with the dates they were made or purchased to keep track of their freshness.
  • Be mindful of recipe sizes. When you have prepared extra portions, freeze them for later use. Remember to include food already in your freezer in your weekly meal plan.
  • Rescue food that is about to go bad. Be creative and use it in a recipe, salad, casserole, soup, or stew. Consume leftovers in a healthy, nutritious, and delicious way.
  • Repurpose your leftovers and turn them into a new meal. See ways to use leftover rotisserie chicken in the link below. Use leftover chicken in a soup, salad, burrito, or pasta dish.
  • Do you know how to tell if a food is bad or still good to eat? Do you know how long a food should last? Download USDA’s FoodKeeper app to help you. It can help you determine food and beverage storage times.  https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep-food-safe/foodkeeper-app
  • Reward by verbally praising and acknowledging a family member who has taken action to reduce food waste in the home and make them a “Food Waste Prevention Hero”. It would be great if youth could learn food waste prevention skills at a young age. Celebrate the small wins.

Reduce food waste today. Money lost due to food waste could be spent in so many other ways, especially in today’s economy. It takes some planning, but it can be done. Reducing food waste matters and it can make a difference in your pocketbook.

Learn more about reducing food waste

Reduce food waste: 10 ways to use a rotisserie chicken, UF/IFAS Extension, Broward County Family and Consumer Sciences – https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/browardco/2024/03/01/reduce-food-waste-10-ways-to-use-rotisserie-chicken/


Think about reducing food waste today, UF/IFAS Extension, Broward County Family and Consumer Sciences – https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/browardco/2023/04/11/think-about-reducing-food-waste-today/


Prevent food waste, UF/IFAS Extension, Broward County Family and Consumer Sciences – https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/browardco/2022/03/28/prevent-food-waste/


Follow the rainbow for good health, UF/IFAS Extension, Broward County Family and Consumer Sciences – https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/browardco/2022/03/01/follow-the-rainbow-for-good-health-during-nutrition-month/

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Posted: April 1, 2024

Category: Food Safety, Health & Nutrition, SFYL Hot Topic, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension, UF/IFAS Teaching,
Tags: #FoodIsOurMiddleName, #FoodWastePreventionWeek2024, Broward, Broward County, Eating For Good Health, Extension, Food Keeper App, Food Safety, Food Waste Can Be Prevented, Food Waste Reduction Suggestions, How Can I Prevent Food Waste?, How Can I Reduce Food Waste?, How To Be A Food Waste Prevention Hero?, Quick Tips To Reduce Food Waste, Reduce Food Waste Now, Save Food Dollars, Save Money, Save Money By Preventing Food Waste, UF/IFAS Solutions, Zero Food Waste

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