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Food waste is a big problem for the environment. Many of us are guilty of throwing away food that’s gone bad, or we’ve bought too much of it – and while a lot of food waste is unintentional, it’s still damaging our planet. Not only that, but wasted food is wasted money, and simply reducing your food waste could leave you with more money each month.

With a little organization, it’s easier than you might think to cut back on food waste. With some simple ideas, you could reduce your household food waste and change your approach to food for good. Here are four ideas to help you cut back on food waste.

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1. Plan ahead

One of the best ways to cut your food waste is to plan ahead. Walking into the grocery store without a plan means you end up putting everything and anything into your cart, which can leave you with way more food than you need. Planning ahead and writing an ingredients list can help you stick to a scaled-back shop that will leave you with a lot less food waste, and save you some money too. 

Look at some tasty lunches you can make at home and some easy family dinners to help you get your weekly plan together.

2. Use leftovers to create delicious dishes

Using your leftovers to create other meals is a great way to save on food waste. You can make easy chicken enchiladas with some leftover rotisserie chicken, pasta dishes with leftover vegetables and so much more. Prepping foods in advance at the start of the week can help you see what you’ve got to work with, and can take some of the effort out of cooking each night. Always use leftovers and think about freezing anything you can use in the future.

3. Store food correctly

Food can go bad if it isn’t stored correctly. This is a simple problem to fix, and you just need to pay closer attention to packaging instructions and expiration dates. Taking time to store food safely will help you throw away less food, which will save you money as well as help the environment.

4. Consider your portion sizes

Portion control is another way to help cut back on food waste. Instead of piling your plate high with food, think about doing a smaller portion instead. You can always go back for more, or save what’s left over for another meal. Piling too much food on your plate can mean a lot of it ends up in the trash, instead of in your fridge when it can be enjoyed another time. Portion control can also help you maintain a healthy weight and stop you from feeling so full after eating.

With some simple planning, you can take steps to cut back on your food waste without making drastic changes to your habits and routine. You’ll see the benefits in your wallet right away, and the environment will thank you too.