Extreme Coupon Education: 6 Tips to Prevent Food Waste
Because they don’t tell you everything on reality television we are here to reveal the secrets of Extreme Couponing. TLC’s Extreme Couponing is really not about education it is more about entertainment. Our goal is to educate you and empower you to save money for your family.
This week I cleaned out my pantry. Guess what? I found some expired food. (Cue doom and gloom music) Apparently I am not perfect, not even close. Sometimes I buy food with the best of intentions to use it and then forget that it is even in my pantry. But most of the time I keep from wasting food. Part of being frugal is using what you have and not buying more than you need.
Here are my tips to help you avoid food waste:
- Always eat your left-overs. Right after dinner package them up for the next days lunch. This will save you time, money and prevent food waste.
- Organize your pantry/ fridge. Put food away so that you can see it easily. If you do not know it is there you will never use it. Use containers or shelves to organize like items so they can easily be found. Check out this VIDEO about how I organize my stockpile!
- Pay attention to expiration dates. When I put my food away I look at the date it is going to expire. I make sure to put the food expiring the soonest in the front of my shelf so it will get used first. If your food does not have an expiration date marked or it is hard to read write the date of purchase on it with a sharpie.You should also watch expiration dates when you buy. I have actually found food at some stores that is already expired before I purchase it. Do not buy more of an item than what you can use before it expires.
- Cook from your pantry. Make a menu plan based on the food you already have. This will save you money and a trip to the store and prevent food waste. Check out our meal plans.
- Keep a list. Food can easily get buried in a freezer and forgotten. Keep a running list on your fridge of the items in your freezer so you know what you already have on hand to cook from and you use it!
- Donate. If you find that you have food that you will not use before it expires donate it to a local food bank.