10 Organization Tips That Help Prevent Food Waste

Food waste depletes your bank account and creates pollution. Use these organization tips to seriously cut down on how much food you waste each week.

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Food waste is a major problem all over the world. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reports that 28 percent of the world’s agricultural area produces food that ultimately goes to waste. This creates a carbon footprint of more than three billion tons of carbon dioxide and puts a dent in millions of people’s pocketbooks.

Fortunately a well-organized pantry and refrigerator can help reduce your household’s food waste, because it’s easier to use food when you know where it is and when it’s going to go bad. Here are 10 tips to prevent food waste in your home.

Do a Clean Sweep

If it’s been ages since you’ve inventoried your fridge, freezer and pantry, go through and take stock of what you’ve got. Discard expired items and consider donating any unexpired items you won’t eat to a food shelf.

Use a Food Inventory App

Apps like NoWaste and Food Checklist let you track, organize and manage the food in your fridge, pantry and freezer so you always know what’s on hand and when it will go bad.

Manually Label Products

Labeling all your food and when you bought it (or when it expires) will eliminate any confusion about when it’s time to toss something. Laminas Chalkboard Labels are reusable and dishwasher safe.

Follow Food Storage Recommendations

Knowing the best ways to store different foods to preserve their freshness will help them last longer. The FoodKeeper app from foodsafety.gov shows the best way to store virtually any food or drink.

Transfer Pantry Staples to See-Through Canisters

Stash shelf-stable food like sugar, rice and dried beans in see-through canisters like OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Airtight POP Round Canister Set. This food will stay fresh longer and you’ll easily be able to gauge what you have on hand.

Use Tiered Shelves to Keep Cans Visible

Canned goods have a tendency to disappear into the back of your shelves. Keep them visible and top-of-mind by using a tiered shelf organizer like Simple Houseware Stackable Can Rack Organizer.

Keep Certain Fruits Separate

Store bananas, apples and tomatoes by themselves. These fruits emit natural gases as they ripen and those gases can spoil other fruits.

Create Space in Your Fridge for Foods About to Expire

Placing foods approaching their expiration date front and center will remind you to use them first.

Make Good Use of Your Freezer

Consider freezing foods that will go bad before you have a chance to enjoy them. The FoodKeeper app also lets you know how long items can be stored in the freezer.

Invest in Food Preservation Products

Products like bread boxes, herb preservers and vacuum sealers can squeeze extra days or even weeks of life out of your groceries. Learn about 10 products that help prevent food waste.

Amanda Prischak
Amanda Prischak is a freelance writer based in Erie, Pennsylvania.