How to Reduce Kitchen Waste & Save Money in 7 Simple Ways

Kat Thinks and Codes
by Kat Thinks and Codes

Today, I wanted to talk to you about how to reduce kitchen waste. What can you do right now to have a zero- or less-wasteful lifestyle? Let’s get started.

1. Sustainable packaging

The first point I want to mention is about packaging, specifically plastic packaging versus more sustainable packaging (like metal, paper, or glass). What we need to remember is that not all plastic is recyclable. The ones that are recyclable can be recycled only one or two times.

Choosing low-waste packaging

I like the saying that “We can vote with our dollars.” Take, for example, these two types of pasta I found at the grocery store. One comes in a carton box and the other in a plastic wrapper. Ironically, they taste very similar and are similar in price.

We can make the choice to support the one with the paper box so the plastic doesn’t end up in the landfill. That also goes for glass jars and metal containers over plastic packaging. I can assure you that you can find similar products packaged in more sustainable materials.

Reusable containers

2. Ziploc versus containers

How are you able to reduce kitchen waste? Reduce the use of Ziploc bags. I know, I know, Ziplocs are great. We can bring our sandwiches in them, store food, and freeze food. Nevertheless, they are still made up of plastic and end up in the landfill. 

You already know where I am going with this – reusable containers. You can reuse them so many times to store food or freeze food. The bonus is that they are less harmful for the environment and you only need to buy them once, compared to purchasing Ziplocs every few months.

3. Reusable cups and bottles

Another suggestion for how to reduce kitchen waste is to use reusable cups and bottles. I have to say, I have accumulated quite a collection of these. Some are gifts. Some I purchased on my own. Not only are they great for reducing waste, but some restaurants give you discounts on free coffee if you bring your own reusable cup. 

I like to bring reusable bottles to airports. During flights, I get very dehydrated, so I keep the bottle with me and sometimes I’ll ask the flight attendant to refill it, without wasting another plastic cup. I find that reusable cups and bottles save me in many different situations, especially when I travel.

Reusable bags

4. Reusable bags

The next way to reduce waste is to use reusable bags. We know we should all be using them, but I get it, sometimes I forget them as well. Luckily the supermarkets I go to in Canada don't stock plastic bags anymore.

I had to buy a few reusable bags when I forgot to bring mine. You can see this happened a few times. Oh well. What I do now, not to forget them, is to put a bunch of them in the trunk of my car. Yay for reusable bags.

Freezing food

5. Freezing food

This suggestion is a little bit unexpected. Let’s be honest, it’s happened to all of us. Sometimes we buy that broccoli or celery and forget it’s there in the fridge, only to find out it went bad later and we have to throw it away.

My solution for this is freezing. If you've got food leftovers that you don’t feel like eating this very night, freeze them for later. All the veggies that you freeze now, you can use for soups, stews, or steaming.

6. Reusing glass jars

You know all the glass jars we get from tomato sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, or pickles? They are all different shapes and sizes. Although glass can be infinitely recycled, I like to keep these jars to store my lentils, pasta, chickpea, cranberries, and other pantry essentials.

The jars are all different and have different shapes which gives them a little bit of charm. Here’s the secret tip: You don’t have to go to IKEA to buy pantry storage essentials.

How to reduce kitchen waste by meal planning

7. Meal plan

The last suggestion for how to reduce kitchen waste is to meal plan. This is a big, big, big one. I feel like it saved a lot of my money and a lot of food. My best tip for meal planning is to plan ahead for the whole week and stick the plan in a visible place in your home.

That way, everyone knows what to expect and when you go to the grocery store, you will know what you need to buy. You avoid overbuying and save money and food.

How to reduce kitchen waste

These tips can help you cut back on kitchen waste. What are your suggestions for how to reduce kitchen waste? Leave a comment and let us know. 

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 1 comment
  • Ann57600157 Ann57600157 on Jun 03, 2023

    I buy my dog a number of different treats and the packages they come in look messy once opened and do not always close tightly. I recently put all of his treats into various size recycled jars and and put them all in a wire basket I already owned. They now look decorative instead of jumbled.