You are at the grocery store. Stop. Think. Do you really need that? Will you be home to eat it?


The holidays are often a time of impulse buys, including grocery items. It may stem from concerns that you won’t have enough food for your family or unexpected guests. Since we are still struggling with this pandemic, it’s unlikely you’ll have extra guests this year, but you still may find yourself in your normal holiday grocery routine of stocking up, especially on specialty items or snack foods.

I know. I’m one of those people. I always have extra food in the freezer, or cans on the shelf, just in case we decide to have an impromptu soirée. But since writing Zero Waste Cooking For Dummies®, I’ve curbed my enthusiasm for buying too much food. It’s a win win. And yep, my newest book is hitting a bookstore near you!

Why Wait?

Why wait until the new year to make a positive change in your life? Wasting less food will save you money, and may even improve your overall diet. Here are five quick tips to help you get started on your zero waste cooking journey:

  1. Take a look in your pantry and on your kitchen food shelves. You may already have enough canned food that you can create a meal or snack with (like this delicious pumpkin bread).  Instead of adding to your shelves, use up what you have on hand first. After all we’ve been through over the past 2 years, planning simple meals seems like a good, low key fit.
  2. Shop smart. Don’t overstock. It’s great to have some frozen food on hand, or canned beans and tomatoes that create a quick soup or chili, but you don’t have to keep food on hand that you won’t have the time to prepare and eat. Consider just stocking enough so that you have 3 to 4 quick meal options on hand, for those busy work nights, or for pop in guests (then donate extras to a local food bank).
  3. Store food properly when you get home from the store. Be sure you are storing your fruits and vegetables in a way that allows them to last longer. You’ll find lots of tips about food storage in the new book, and find useful items like these produce storage bags, in my affiliate links.
  4. Do more with leftovers. Usually it’s not the cook in the family that doesn’t like leftovers. But when you serve them up in completely new ways, the “I-don’t-like-leftovers” crowd may change their tune.
  5. Think twice before you pitch it. The simplest way to reduce food waste, is to buy what you need, store it properly, and eat it before it goes bad!

Let’s stay positive and do more positive things in the new year. Reduce the amount of food you throw away, shop smarter, plan better, and enjoy simple meals. Take a peak into the new book here.