Use Your Food Wisely

​Did you know that 40 percent of food grown in the U.S. goes uneaten? Most of this food is still to eat! With planning, smart shopping, proper storage, and some knowledge, you can minimize the amount of food waste in your home. Not only will you save yourself money, but also provide positive environmental impacts.

First Thing’s First: PLAN and SHOP SMART

  • Plan your meals before shopping, so you purchase only what you need. Check out this easy to use Meal Planner Notepad.
  • When you create your shopping list, include quantities to keep from buying too much. Make sure to check the pantry and fridge to avoid buying items you already have.
  • If you’re preparing for a large gathering, check out this Guest-imator from Save the Food to help you decide how much you need to buy and prepare.


  • When unpacking groceries, move older items to the front of the fridge, freezer, or pantry and put new items in the back. This is the First In, First Out plan.
  • Store fruits and vegetables at the right temperature to ensure freshness and reduce the chance of waste. Check out Save the Food’s interactive storage guide to learn the best place to store a food item, how long it is fresh, and ways to revive it once it starts to ripen.
  • You can also download our Smart Food Storage graphic.


  • Freeze items such as bread, meat, and sliced fruit until you are ready to eat them.
  • Wait to wash berries until you are ready to eat them to prevent mold.
  • Cut your time in half by preparing and freezing meals ahead of time.
Understanding Food Date Labels:

Did you know that food date labels do not actually indicate whether that food is safe to eat? Misunderstanding around food date labels actually results in an estimated $29 billion in wasted consumer spending each year! Learn more about food date labels and what they actually mean in this helpful Food Date Labels infographic!