16 Tricky Tips to Cut Back on Waste

Down the drain, in the garbage disposer, and out for the trash — are you losing valuable cash just in grocery waste alone? Here are 16 tips that will help you enjoy your food to the fullest, cut out waste, and pinch a few pennies in the process!

coffee-cubes1. Don’t toss leftover cold coffee lingering at the bottom of your pot, pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. Use in morning smoothies or iced coffee drinks.

2. Hitting rock bottom with you marinara sauce? Spread the last tablespoons of sauce over a whole wheat pita and sprinkle with cheese for your own personal pizza that takes just minutes to cook.

3. Still have some oats to sow in the bottom of the canister or bag? Toss them into your meatloaf mixture or add to your burger meat.

4. Too much melon? Once you cut honeydew, cantaloupe and especially watermelon, it can be tough to eat it up before it spoils. Freeze half and use in smoothies or defrost before you juice to add volume to vegetable juices.

5. Check your crisper before you decide what you want for dinner. If you have plenty of veggies, base your meal on what you have most of — or make a veggie stir fry as a healthy base for your protein.

6. Tomato paste left at the bottom of the can? Transfer it to a snack bag and freeze for a rainy day recipe.

7. Worried that your ground beef or turkey will spoil before you can cook it? Sprinkle it with salt, ground chili powder, and a little cumin. Cook it off (even if you’re eating out that night) and use it later in the week for tacos or burritos.

8. Do you have leftover tidbits like olives, capers, herbs, or grated cheese? Blend it with a few tablespoons of olive oil to make a tasty salad dressing.

9. A few tablespoons of breadcrumbs at the bottom of the canister? Make a tasty cauliflower gratin. Steam cauliflower, toss with grated cheese, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake.

10. A bit of barley at the end of your bags? Place it in a slow cooker with beef cubes, spices, and diced tomatoes to make a “hand free” beef barley stew.

champagne-tip11. Weren’t able to finish your bubbly last night? Don’t let it fizzle out, tuck a slender spoon handle into the bottle to preserve the bubbles.

12. Have a few ounces of pasta rattling around the box? Cook off your pasta and cool to room temperature. Store in the fridge for use during the week, toss with cooked veggies, soups, or stews.

13. Have a few tablespoons of mint left over? Toss it in your tea pot when you make green or black to add lift to your brew.

14. Have one lone carrot in the crisper? Peel, grate it, and toss into your favorite chocolate dessert, like brownies.

15. Don’t let that one taco shell go stale. Gently toast it in your (toaster) oven and crumble it over a salad or soup.

16. Is your sour cream container almost empty? Whisk it into your morning eggs to make them fluffier.