6 ways to reduce food waste

Learn how a few minor changes to your cooking and shopping habits can help you reduce food waste and keep your fridge organized.

You fill your crisper drawers with fresh vegetables and fruits only to discover a week later that they are limp, soggy and inedible. Here are a few tips to help you reduce waste, use up purchases – and maybe even save some money.
1. Use up leftovers.
Instead of letting half heads of broccoli or cauliflower, or half a sweet pepper, go to waste, turn them into soups, sauté them for a side dish or chop or shred them into salads.  
2. Make stock.
Save any vegetable peelings and trimmings to make stock. Onion ends, carrot and potato peelings, pepper tops – anything goes when it comes to stock. Freeze stock in usable portions for easy use in meals. 
3. Shop more frequently.
Shopping often is especially rewarding during the harvest season. Take advantage of local farmer's markets. Buy small amounts of produce to get you through a day or two. This will also help save money in addition to decreasing waste.
4. Shop smartly.
Buy produce loose instead of packaged in large bags. That way you'll buy only the amount you need. 
5. Shop with a list.
Create a menu for the week based on ingredients you already have on hand or plan to buy. Make your grocery list from the menu, then stick to it in the store, avoiding impulse buys as much as possible. 
6. Store it properly. 
Fresh herbs and delicate lettuces last longer if removed from the original package, wrapped in damp paper towels and stored in resealable plastic bags. Some fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, apples, oranges, potatoes, onions and garlic, are best stored at room temperature instead of in the refrigerator.

This story was originally titled "Cut The Crisper Waste" in Canadian Living's Fresh & Healthy issue.

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