Americans waste an average of one pound of food per day, according to research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Not only does food waste create environmental challenges by depleting landfills, it can have an expensive impact on your household budget.
Adopting some simple habits, like these ideas from the experts at Just Bare Chicken, can help you shop smarter to reduce waste for the better of the environment and your wallet.
1. Plan your meals. Although many people have a general idea of what they’re shopping for when they go to the store, more careful planning can create better food efficiency. For example, if you know that you want salad one night and tacos the next, you can buy one head of lettuce for both meals. Making a list and considering which ingredients can be shared from one meal to the next can help prevent over-buying.
2. Make the most of versatile ingredients. Part of shopping smart is finding ways to make the most of your ingredients, especially proteins that can be extended over several meals. For example, rotisserie chicken is a versatile buy, but not everyone knows how to utilize the whole bird. An option like Pilgrim’s Just Bare Rotisserie Chicken can help you make the most of both your shopping trip and meal planning. The chickens now feature packaging with a unique QR code you can scan to access experiential tips on how to use a rotisserie chicken, including carving, a meal featuring the breast meat, chicken salad using the rest of the meat and how to make bone broth.
3. Store foods properly. A great deal of waste comes from food that spoils before it is consumed. This is especially true of fresh produce that is improperly stored. Many refrigerators are equipped with specialized cooling zones that create an optimal environment for produce storage. You can also purchase containers that are designed to keep foods fresh longer.
4. Learn to love leftovers. Some dishes taste better the next day, but if the remains of a previous meal aren’t appetizing to you, try repurposing them into something completely new. For example, leftover rotisserie chicken is perfect for topping a salad, or you can add a little seasoning for easy chicken tacos.
5. Be realistic when buying in bulk. A great sale is hard to resist, but if you won’t actually eat all of what you buy, you may actually end up losing money. If you buy a large quantity of something, immediately repackage it into smaller portions you’re likely to use when you return home and label them with the product name, date and weight for future use.
Find more ideas and recipes to take your food purchases further at justbarechicken.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Family eating together)