Stop Throwing Money in the Trash

Stop Throwing Money In The Trash
Stefanie O'Connell
By: Stefanie O'Connell
Updated: July 25, 2014
Experts share their tips and advice on, with the goal of helping subprime consumers. Our articles follow strict editorial guidelines.

How often do you throw away spoiled milk, stale bread or rotten vegetables?

If you tallied up the cost of every half-eaten meal or moldy fruit you tossed in the garbage, how much would it add up to this week? This month? This year?

If the answer to those questions comes out to anything more than zero, it’s time to take action and stop throwing money in the trash.

1. Plan.

Get into the habit of planning your meals the same way you plan every other event in your life.

If you have to write them down in a planner to remind yourself, do it. If you have to cook in bulk on weekends to use your produce before it rots away over the course of the week, do it.

If you have to freeze some of your grocery haul until you’re ready to use it, do it.

Find the strategies that work for you and implement them in a way that uses all of your food before it goes bad.

2. Organize.

Vegetable and fruit drawers are the black holes of refrigerators.

Rather than tucking away the most perishable items where you can’t see them, try putting some of your condiments and other long-lasting fridge items into the drawers and your fruits and veggies on the shelves.

You’ll be more likely to actually use them.

“Start putting money

where your mouth is.”

3. Take inventory.

It’s good to check in on the food supply every so often and see what’s nearing its expiration date.

Once you’ve made note of the inventory, you can reorganize appropriately and plan to use those ingredients as soon as possible.

4. Cleanse.

Fridges and pantries that are always restocked before they’re emptied out tend to become full of random odds and ends that never get used.

Every so often, challenge yourself to use up everything in your fridge before going out for another grocery run.

The condiments can stay, but the lone carrot and leftover vegetable broth have to go. Think of it as an “Iron Chef” challenge where you have to concoct a meal out of random ingredients.

By implementing these strategies, you can stop throwing money in the trash and start putting money where your mouth is.

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