Food waste is a major issue in the world. It is estimated that here in Canada 63% of food is thrown away before it is even eaten! This is wasting us good food that should have been eaten, as well as money that we spent on that food.
Even worse all this food waste is horrible for the environment, especially if it is going into the garbage and not in the compost. This produces harmful methane gas and carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change.
Today I am going to be sharing some of the ways that I prevent food waste, including my current favourite way to buy groceries, FlashFood.
There are multiple ways that food is going to waste in the world including:
- we buy too much and then don’t use it, with food going bad in the fridge or counter
- we are storing food wrong
- we are disposing of it wrong when it does go bad
- We buy too much: I know this has definitely happened to me. I get really excited to get lots of produce at the grocery store and then we go out a few times, or I forget about the cucumbers hiding at the back of the fridge and before I know it, it is too late and I have to get rid of the food.
I am definitely trying more often to be conscious about the food I am buying and whether or not we can eat it all. I try and do that by meal planning ahead of time for what to make and if not that try and figure out meals throughout the week that will use up the things that are starting to go bad, before it is too late.
- We are storing food wrong: I have really started to embrace the freezer as a way to keep food longer. For items such as cheese I will shred and freeze it right away ready for homemade pizza or a cheese biscuits, produce such as onions can also be pre-chopped and frozen which means I don’t have to be crying cutting onions all the time. The freezer is always good for leftovers as well if you know you won’t be able to get to them in the next few days.
Where you store items in your fridge matters as well by making sure to separate foods that can cause others to ripen and making sure your humidity and temperature levels are the best for what you are storing.
- We are disposing of food wrong: I am fortunate to live in a area with a good compost system so that means when steps 1 and 2 don’t happen I have a place to get rid of my food waste. As mentioned earlier when food goes into the regular garbage it emits harmful gases and doesn’t break down correctly. Food has been found in landfills decades later, not having broken down at all because landfills are so tightly packed that nothing can breathe.
So if you do have to throw out food make sure it goes in your municipal compost (if you are lucky enough to have one), or start your own. You can even compost in a small apartment with some of the ways that I have listed in the sources!
Now on to one of the ways that we have been reducing our food waste, FlashFood.
FlashFood is an app that works with grocery stores across Canada to reduce food waste by selling items close to their expiry date for 50% off or more. They sell produce, meat, dairy, dips and spreads, and dry goods (I have even seen chocolate on there before!). You go to the app before you even get to the grocery store, purchase your items, and then when you get there you go to the special fridge by the customer service desk, pick up your food, and you are good.
It is super easy to do and helps prevent food from going to waste which I love as well. Nigel and I have saved well over $100 on groceries in the past few months just from using this app. It is nice that I can pick stuff up on my lunchbreak at work or Nigel can swing by another store on his way home based on what is on the app that day.
If you are in Canada I would highly suggest trying out FlashFood, and I even have a referral code for you. (Note, this will need to be done on a phone). This code will give you $5 off your first purchase through the app. https://flashfood.app.link/2MtJZckpf3
Let me know in the comments what you do to help prevent food waste and if you have used FlashFood or something like it before.
One thought on “reducing food waste – how I do it, and save money at the same time”
With this time of imposed restrictions on how many times we head off to the market, I think more folks are evaluating what they are wasting. I guess that is one of those little silver linings.