How to Stop Wasting Food and Save $1,500 a Year

By F&W Editors Posted February 03, 2016

Curbing food waste can benefit your wallet as well as the planet.

According to Time, the average household throws out about 20 percent of all supermarket purchases, costing a family of four $1,500 every year. “Nobody wakes up in the morning wanting to waste food, but it happens in little bits and pieces,” Dana Gunders, a senior scientist at the National Resources Defense Council, told Time. “We are so price-sensitive in the store, but when we get home and eventually throw out a quarter of the cheese we just bought, we don’t realize that’s another $1.50.”

We at Food & Wine are dedicated to finding smart and delicious ways to use food scraps and stop food waste. (We even came up with a full menu for a no-waste Thanksgiving last year.) Here, a few of our top no-waste strategies:

Cook with fruit and vegetable peels. Chef Paul Reilly makes an amazing ravioli filling by mixing root vegetable peels with cheese, while chef Alex Figura saves garlic skins and uses them to infuse oil or butter.

Use your freezer. Instead of tossing extra soups or sauces, freeze them for future dinner fodder. Make sure you label everything you freeze in order to avoid the inevitable mystery food purge.

Embrace stale bread. Tough, stale bread is fantastic in a panzanella (bread salad) and also can be used as a thickening agent in sauces or soups. Or, revive it using this amazing trick [].

Save your stems. Blend herb stems with fresh herbs, citrus and chile peppers to make a bright marinade. Use mushroom stems to make a rich, umami-packed broth. And thinly slice brussel sprout nubs to make a slaw.

Turn bruised apples into apple sauce. They might be too mushy to eat raw, but bruised apples are great in a rich, sweet apple sauce.

Go here for more great no-waste tips.

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