I always feel a bit guilty and sad when I have to throw away food because we didn’t eat it before it went bad.
Sometimes the food was leftovers I got sick of eating after I ate it three days in a row.
Other times the wasted food was simply something that got shoved in the back of the refrigerator and was forgotten.
Instead of continuing to feel bad about wasting food, as well as the money I spent on that food, I’ve decided to take a small action to see if we can improve our food waste.
Lists Of Items In Our Pantry
The first thing I’m going to try doing to cut down on food waste involves making a list of all of the food we have in our pantry.
I plan to make one list, or area of our list, that will list items that could go bad soon.
The rest of the list will show the other food in our pantry.
This should help us in a couple of ways. First, we’ll be able to try to come up with meal ideas to get rid of the food that will spoil soon. We’ll also be able to make sure we’re not accidentally buying more of an item we already have that may have gotten shoved into the back of our pantry.
I plan to make similar lists for items in our refrigerator and our freezer. Since some refrigerated and frozen food can last for a long time, I’m going to try to write down the dates we bought or cooked the food so we can make sure it doesn’t spoil before we get a chance to eat it.
Initially, I plan to just make these lists out of paper and put them on our fridge with a magnet and on our pantry with a piece of tape. However, if we end up liking this system I am considering buying some dry erase boards to make the exercise easier.
Hopefully this exercise will help us cut down in our food waste. Just in case it doesn’t, I’m adding a second list that I think will help just as much as these pantry lists.
A List Of Things We’ve Thrown Away
While knowing what food we have is a good start to avoiding food waste, knowing what food we waste on a consistent basis may be an even better tool. So, I plan to keep a piece of paper next to the trash can so we can write down every piece of food we throw away.
I have a feeling this will be eye opening and not in a good way. Hopefully, we can learn if we consistently throw away a certain food. If we do, then we can buy the item in a smaller quantity or quit buying it altogether.
We Won’t Be Eating Just To Avoid Waste
Even though we want to avoid wasting food, we won’t be eating food just to avoid wasting it. I definitely could stand to lose some weight, so eating things just so we don’t throw them away would be counterproductive to losing weight.
Overall, I think these exercises will work out well if we can stick to them. The biggest obstacles are going to be compiling the first list of each area. Then, all we have to do is keep up the list whenever we use the last of something or get back from a shopping trip.
If we get to the point where we aren’t throwing away much food anymore, maybe we’ll be able to ditch the lists altogether. I’ll let you know how this experiment goes after we’ve had some time to test it out.
Have you ever made or kept up a list of what food you have in your pantry, refrigerator and freezer? What about a list of all of the food you’ve thrown away? If so, what did you learn? If not, would you ever consider doing it? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!