Did you know that each year The average American family wastes 250 pounds of food each year? That’s a lot of food in any year, but during the pandemic of 2020, that numbers seems even more staggering.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, what can we all do to waste less? In this article, we look at tips for reducing food waste.
Reduce the Amount of Food
The easiest way to reduce waste is to simply cook less food.
Since the experts are recommending smaller gatherings, you may find you don’t need a turkey for 20. If that’s the case, and you have maybe four people for dinner, reduce the size of the turkey you cook.
Likewise, you can make less of your sides and desserts as well. Cut things in half or even in fourths.
Plan your meal and check your recipes. You can then use them to reduce your quantities.
How do you know how to reduce your turkey size? Generally speaking you want one pound of turkey per person. You want a pound and a half per person if you’d like leftovers for sandwiches on Friday.
Make the Same and Give It Away
Your other option is to make the same amount of food or even a bit extra. Then, you can take boxed meals to your elderly friends and relatives. Leave it on their doorstep, and you’ll make their day.
Save Your Scraps
You can also reduce waste by saving your meat trimmings and extra trimmed vegetables for soup stock. They’ll add a lot to your winter soup recipes.
Simply freeze them, and they’re ready for you when you need.
Plan for Leftovers
You can also plan for leftovers. Make sure you have storage containers on hand.
The most important part about leftovers is that they get eaten. So, make a plan for what you’ll do with the leftovers. Will you eat them as-is on Friday?
Or, will you use them to make another dish? There are plenty of dishes you can make using your leftovers. For example, you can make fritters from left over mashed potatoes. Use leftover bread in bread pudding or make croutons for a leftover turkey salad.
Planning here is key.
Donate What’s Left
If you still have too many leftovers, you can often donate these to your local food kitchen.
Likewise, if you have extra canned food such as pumpkin, green beans, cranberry sauce, condensed milk, and more, you can donate these items to your local food bank.
Compost Your Food
Finally, your other option is to compost your food scraps. Save them to use in the spring when your garden needs a little compost to thrive.
Check out your local composter – they will often come and pick up your scraps and bring you compost in the spring.
We know this is a unique year, and we wish you a wonderful holiday season. We hope these tips help you to reduce food waste while you enjoy a terrific Thanksgiving!