Tips for cutting down on food waste and making your groceries last longer

ByNydia Han and Heather Grubola WPVI logo
Thursday, April 13, 2023
Tips for cutting down on food waste and making your groceries last longer
Tips for cutting down on food waste and making your groceries last longer

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Having to throw away uneaten food from the fridge is like throwing money right in the garbage, something that's even more painful with today's high food prices.

Consumer Reports' home editor and classically trained chef Paul Hope has a few easy things you can do to keep your food and your money out of the trash.

"One of my biggest pet peeves is wasting food. Not only is it a total waste of money, it just seems unethical to me. So, I go to great lengths to do whatever I can to use stuff up before it goes bad," he said.

Hope recently repurposed leftover pork to make several different meals for the week. It's a strategy he often employs.

"Beef stew as a future topping on nachos is a classic. Hot dog buns into a dessert - that's another great option. Hamburger buns for grilled cheese," he said.

Meal planning is key. When mapping out meals for the week, Hope often buys in bulk and buys frozen so he can thaw just the portion he needs.

And make sure expensive proteins can be used for different dishes throughout the week.

"I keep food as plain as possible, as long as possible. Because once you alter the flavor of something you really can't undo that," he said.

Hope then adds unique seasonings to the portion he needs for that day's meal.

CR says you can also cut down on waste and save money by keeping groceries on the right shelves and bins in your fridge.

"For your more expensive grocery items, such as meat and eggs, you want to store them on the lower shelves inside your refrigerator, which tend to be coldest," said Consumer Reports' Dan Wroclawski.

And don't be afraid to use your freezer. Something like bread is going to last a lot longer when it's frozen.

CR says to use your refrigerator door for items like butter and condiments instead of milk or eggs. That's because temperatures in the door tend to be a few degrees higher than the inside shelves.

For more information:

Organizing your refrigerator

Eating healthy on a budget