I still remember how shocked I was the first time I learned that Canadians throw out an average of 13% of the groceries they purchase. I was only a teenager at the time and the thought of all that wasted food was incomprehensible to me.
But as an adult, I’ve experienced firsthand how easy it is to forget food in the fridge until it’s no longer edible. That’s why I was so excited about taking part in the GLAD Fresh Food Challenge.
With some planning and plenty of GLAD products to help keep food fresh, I was on a mission to not waste a single bit of food over the next two weeks. These are the three tips that helped me tackle the challenge successfully!
Start Meal Planning
Meal planning was one of the most helpful steps I could have taken to minimize food waste.
I’ve actually heard from meal-planning friends many times before that having a meal plan is one of the most effective ways not just to minimize food waste but also to save money on groceries by not buying unnecessary food.
My boys and I all love fresh fruit and vegetables, but I did have a bad habit of buying too much of them and then letting some go bad in the fridge.
Planning out in advance how I would use the peppers, carrots and broccoli I bought was a great solution.
Package Food Properly
Using GLAD Cling Wrap, Zipper Bags and Press ‘n’ Seal, I was able to keep food fresh for longer. I hadn’t realized just how lax I had been in this regard and once I started packaging my food a little better, I was amazed at how much longer it lasted.
I had already been using GLAD Zipper Bags to keep things like cheese and cut vegetables fresh, but I tended to just leave fresh produce open in the crisper drawers. Wrapping it in Cling Wrap instead resulted in all my vegetables staying fresh longer, something I hadn’t expected.
And the GLAD Press ‘n’ Seal was the handiest way to seal up a plate of leftovers properly or package up individual portions of various products.
Personally, I liked making individual breakfast wraps and sealing them with Press ‘n’ Seal. In the morning, the boys could just open one up, microwave it for a few seconds and enjoy a hot and delicious breakfast!
Cook Food That Keeps
One of the biggest personal challenges I have with minimizing food waste is dealing with leftovers, since my boys’ appetites are so variable.
Some days they’ll gobble up everything on their plates and ask for more, while other days they’ll only pick at their food, resulting in way more leftover dinner than I was expecting.
By choosing dinners that can easily be used to create another meal later, I minimize food waste on days when my boys just aren’t eating much. For example, leftover roasted chicken and rice can be used to make a delicious chicken soup the next day!
Two weeks after starting the challenge, I have been able to virtually eliminate food waste in our home. While there were still occasionally meals that had more leftovers than I expected, being able to properly seal up food meant that it lasted longer and could be eaten later. And not only did that mean that I was wasting less, it also meant I was saving money!
Take the GLAD Fresh Food Challenge for yourself and see if you can go a full two weeks without wasting any food. Once you see how much money you can save, you’ll want to keep improving your food care habits even more.
And with a few simple steps, it’s not that hard to make sure that the food you buy gets eaten up instead of thrown away!