How to Avoid Food Waste

Did you know 40% of all food in America is wasted? The best way to prevent food waste is to buy only what you need, reuse what you have and recycle or compost scraps or expired leftovers.

Plan It

  • Plan meals before going to the grocery store. Try using what you have in your pantry first
  • Use a meal planning tool like this one:
  • Buy ingredients you can use for several meals.
  • Be aware of “best-by” versus “sell-by” dates. “Best-by” is a freshness guideline and should be safe to eat after the date has passed. “Sell-by” is a food safety recommendation for store staff and has built-in quality so that if sold by that date, you will have shelf life once its home

Store It

  • Store food properly to extend its shelf life. Consult the interactive food storage guide at
  • Regularly move older items to the front of your fridge or pantry
  • Store leftovers in clear containers so you can see what you have 

Cook It

  • Prep parts of your meal separately to use ingredients for other meals
  • Turn leftovers into new meals. There are great recipes at
  • Turn vegetable scraps from meal prep into vegetable stock 

Freeze It

Recycle It

  • When all else fails, compost your scraps and expired leftovers.

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Find out where to drop off your food waste