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How do you reduce food waste?
When buying groceries, write the expiration date on the item with a Sharpie marker before putting away groceries.
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Great idea! I do that for my medicines anyhow. I also rotate food frequently to make sure I’m cycling through it.
I also have gotten myself in the habit of not “stocking up” like I used to. Granted, when I had three hungry kids at home, that made more sense. But now that there’s just two of us in the house, I try to avoid buying too much, even if it is on sale, so I don’t end up having food past its expiration.
Also, I don’t think eating something past its expiration is a sin. Certainly if it looks or smells bad, stay away. But frequently the expiration date is a “best by” suggestion, not a “gone bad” warning.
I rely on the “sniff test” to determine if I dare eat it. I’m also reminded of my grandparents who would cut the moldy section of cheese off and continue to use the good parts. Same with bread – remove the bad slices but continue to eat the good ones. As a culture, I think we’re losing that desire to not waste anything.
I also do that for leftovers before I put them in the freezer so I know when they were originally made.
Your mention of bread @amandab gave me two thoughts.
1. If a loaf of bread starts getting so it doesn’t feel fresh enough to eat, I plan in the next day or two to have french toast or grilled cheese sandwiches, and no one notices. 🙂
2. My mom has always put old bread into an open container (so it completely dries out but doesn’t mold) and uses it when she makes stuffing.
My approach – process stale bread (or crackers) in the food processer. Freeze the bread crumbs for stuffing, casserole toppings, etc.
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