Save money by reducing food waste

Ever opened the fridge and found a container that looks more like a science experiment than something edible?

Rose Soneff

Ever opened the fridge and found a container that looks more like a science experiment than something edible? Have some cans in your pantry been there so long that the dust on top could be measured in millimetres? With food prices steadily rising, now is a good time to look at how we can reduce food waste.

Plan your meals before you shop. Check out the Healthy Families BC website for terrific ideas on how to get organized and plan ahead. For example, go through your fridge and cupboards to see what you already have on hand. Post the handy HealthyFamilies BC Meal Planner sheet to tell your family what meals are planned.

Use recipes to ensure you buy just the right amount of an ingredient on your grocery list. Use the bulk section to get the correct amount of an ingredient. If the item is packaged in an amount which is more than needed, make more of that recipe and freeze what is left or use the ingredient in another recipe.

Store food properly. Use the Store It! guide. A little extra effort to store vegetables and fruit properly goes a long way to reduce spoilage and save money. Today some fruit and vegetables cost the same per pound as some fresh meat or fish. I recently saw red peppers for $4.98/lb while beef inside round was $4.84/lb.

Different foods have different storage requirements. That dusty can of food does have a shelf life of two to five years, depending on whether it contains a high or low acid food. Storage information on is available on HealthLink BC ‘s website Food Safety: Storing.

Large amounts of bread or meat can be frozen in smaller quantities. Use special freezer containers or bags that reduce the air in the container to help prevent freezer burn. If you have a large freezer, deplete the contents of the freezer at least once a year. That way, you can start freezing fresh items again.

Organize your cupboards. Canned goods or packages can get pushed back into deep cupboards and forgotten about. Place these items on a tray or bin so that they can be pulled out more easily and you can see what is on hand to use.

Make use of leftovers. Portion leftovers in individual containers for lunches. If you have a lot of leftovers, freeze them in a clear container labelled with the date and name of the leftover. As a reminder, jot down the left over name on your menu plan for the next week. Leftovers can be incorporated into casseroles, stir fry, frittata, soups and smoothies.

Get creative. A friend once told me how her father used to make “Leftover Night” more interesting. He would list the leftovers on a board and take orders. They would set the table with nice placemats, napkins, and serve the food on fancier plates. Instead of dreading leftovers, the family looked forward to this special meal.

With a little planning you can help reduce waste, save money and maybe even start a new family tradition.

Author Rose Soneff is a public health dietician with Interior Health

 

Just Posted

Pipeline protesters move ‘tiny house’ camp north after leader’s arrest

Kanahus Manuel says on Facebook group has moved to the work camp at Blue River

Update: Park pipeline protesters say arrest is a ‘declaration of war’

Led by Kanahus Manuel, the Tiny House Warriors moved into park in Clearwater last week

Police investigating more racist slogans on First Nations signs

Police are investigating racist graffiti being posted on First Nations signs in the Kamloops area

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Update: Kamloops wildfire now mapped at 500 hectares

Firefighters worked overnight on what was a fast-growing wildfire east of Kamloops.

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Temperature records break across southern B.C. as heat continues

Whistler broke a 70-year-old record high of 32.2 C with a temperature of 32.9 C

Hawaii volcano boat tours continue after ‘lava bomb’ injuries

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers.”

Trump returns from summit with Putin to forceful criticism

“Shameful,” ”disgraceful,” ”weak,” were a few of the comments. Makes the U.S. “look like a pushover,” said GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.

Obama to deliver Mandela address in likely rebuke to Trump

Former U.S. President Barack Obama Monday praised Kenya’s president and opposition leader for working together but said this East African country must do more to end corruption.

Missing B.C. Serval cat creates buzz online, pleas for help

Aquila, an African Serval, disappeared from a Fernie, B.C. backyard sometime on Friday, July 13.

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

‘Lava bomb’ through roof of tour boat injures 22 in Hawaii

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers”

Most Read