Day 1. Store your ingredients in the right place for them to extend their shelf life and maintain quality. Store root vegetables and onions in a dark, cool place. Leafy green vegetables, apples, and grapes refrigerate at 1-4°C. The bread will dry out if you store it in the fridge, however if you only plan on using it for toasting, keeping it in the fridge will certainly extend its shelf life. Opened jars are best stored in a cool, dry place.
Day 2. Before you start cooking, determine the amount of ingredients you really need to use. The average serving size for uncooked rice is 80-90g per person, the average serving size for vegan pasta is 80-100g dry. Cooking more of these basic ingredients than you need is wasteful and costly for you. If you are deliberately overcooking to save time, make sure you have enough time to eat your meals before they go bad.
Day 3. Consider the expiration date on the label as a guideline for using the product, not as a general rule. Imagine your food has no packaging or expiration date. Use your senses and, of course, your common sense to determine if a product is fit for consumption. If the vegetable looks a little soft, it can be chopped and used in a cooked dish, but if there is visible mold or smell, it should not be consumed for your own safety.
Day 4. Get handy food storage boxes and labels to label products. This will allow you to organize your kitchen space and always know what is in each box. Store leftover sauces in clean glass containers in the refrigerator to keep them fresh longer and easier to identify.
Day 5. Before you go shopping, always look in your fridge, freezer, and cabinets to check what foods you have on hand, and not buy leftovers that are likely to go bad before it’s your turn to be in your dishes.
Day 6. Pay attention to what foods you often throw away and make a list to spot patterns. Throwing away half a loaf of bread? Consider how best to store and use it. Throwing away leftover sauce from last week? Consider this part of the sauce in your meal plan for the future. Throwing away an unopened package of spinach? Make a shopping list based on what you are going to cook this week.
Day 7. Get creative with your leftover ingredients and prepared meals. Reducing waste and saving the money you spend on groceries doesn’t have to be hard on you. A whole world of new recipes and dishes is open to you – just let yourself look at cooking outside the box and have fun!