The Rethink Food Waste Challenge is on!

Hundreds of households in Deschutes County have taken the challenge: because we want to rethink food waste. Too much food goes into the landfill every year and we want to change that in our community. You can too, it’s easy! If you haven’t already, sign up here.

The first week, the theme was “Do as you normally do.” This gives everyone an idea of what happens on a regular basis in their household and shows a normal amount of food waste for their household: a number to compare future numbers to.

It is true that because folks are in a mindset to prevent wasted food already (just by signing up for the challenge and beginning to think about what goes on in their house), the numbers are probably different than an average week. But that’s ok! This isn’t a scientific study, but just a tool for education.

Week 2: Shop Smarter

Way more often than not, we spend more money at the grocery store than we need to.

  • We get lured in by “buy one get one free” and “2 for 1” – you can save money doing this, but only if you actually eat what you buy
  • We buy what’s on sale – yes you save because it’s not full price, but will you eat that dollar-a-pound asparagus before it goes bad?
  • We tend toward the bulk buys and less expensive per ounce foods – it’s true, it’s cheaper by the pound, but how much of that food will you toss in the end?

Not only does this mean we are wasting money, but we are also wasting food. So this week, let’s focus on only buying what we need.

Here are some tips around this week’s theme:

  • First, make an Eat First baskets for your fridge!
    • This is a basket with an “Eat First” label: a place for you to segregate the food in your fridge you know needs to be eaten sooner rather than later. If something doesn’t fit, place it nearby. Don’t have an Eat First card? You can print your own!
      Ani's Eat First Basket
  • Take a few minutes to organize your fridge so you know what is in there and where things are.
  • Print out the Shop Smarter Tool
  • Before you add anything to your list, LOOK IN YOUR FRIDGE! What needs to be eaten this week? Are those green beans starting to turn? Is half of that rotisserie chicken still sitting there from a few days ago?
  • Try using a meal planning app like Handpick  or Mealime. Do you have one you already use and love? Let us know about it!
  • Buy only what you need!
  • Check out this blog about one person’s experience with meal planning.

Do you have ideas about smart shopping or meal planning or fridge organization? Let us know in the comments!

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