Reduce Your Food Waste

Here are 7 ways you can reduce food waste in your kitchen:
1. Take an inventory.
Take stock of your pantry, refrigerator and freezer before going to the store to prevent overbuying.
2. Create a meal plan.
Planning at least a few meals for each week is a great way to ensure you have healthy meals. It also prevents you from buying too much food because you feel like you need to be prepared for anything. Coordinate your meals so you aren't using completely different ingredients for every recipe. For example, plan to eat broccoli as a side one night and in a casserole the next.
3. Save and eat leftovers safely.
Put leftovers in clear, preferably glass, containers so nothing gets lost. If you don't think you will be able to eat your leftovers within three days, store them in the freezer and label them. Keep your freezer organized so food doesn't get lost and then thrown out due to freezer burn.
4. Store food appropriately.
Start by only buying what you can eat in a week. Store vegetables in a high-humidity drawer and fruits in low-humidity. Keep tomatoes and bananas on the counter, potatoes and onions in a cool, dark place, and fresh herbs in a glass of water. Have some frozen fruits and vegetables on hand in case you eat all your fresh produce before your next grocery day.
5. Buy "ugly" foods.
Purchasing imperfect food refers to misshaped or oddly shaped fruits or vegetables, and it has never been easier. Some companies will deliver "ugly" foods to you with a monthly subscription. You also can start a relationship with a local farmer through  community-supported agriculture or farmers' markets to get your hands on some imperfect produce.
6.  Use leftovers creatively.
Find ways to use rather than toss food that isn't fresh. Vegetable scraps and peels can be made into soup stock. Apples or blueberries that are soft work perfectly cooked in oatmeal. You can even use stale bread to make croutons or an egg strata. Slightly wilted vegetables are great for soups or stir-fries. One of the best things about soup is you can make it out of pretty much anything.
7.  Understand Date Labels.
They don’t mean what you think they do.