Skip to content

Shop Smart

1. Make a list of what you already have and what you need (amounts) before you go to the grocery store. 

Many people purchase food items that 1) they don’t remember they already have, 2) come in bulk with only a small percentage used, and 3) that sound good at the time, based on impulse, but will never actually eat.

2. Don’t shop hungry.

This is a classic food waste problem. You may be more likely to purchase on impulse based on what sounds good to eat at the time, which can lead to incomplete consumption and wasted food.

3. Plan weekly meals ahead of time.

Planning meals ahead accomplishes 2 important things: 1) It saves time and money at the grocery store, and 2) It leads to less clutter in your refrigerator, thus reducing the likelihood of food items going bad because of being hidden or forgotten  about.

IMG_9875Photo: T. Lee

4. Avoid the influence of special deals (e.g. “buy two get one free”).

This may be one of the most influential aspects of why food gets wasted.  Getting a “good deal” on food items feels good but can lead to spending more money and acquiring more food than  needed.

IMG_1489 Photo: A. Knox

5. Buy loose produce.

This is a great way to buy just the right amount of food, based on a weekly plan, and also cut down on packaging waste.

IMG_9715    Photo: T. Lee

6. Don’t be fooled by expiration labels.

Labels that many stores use such as “use by” or “best by” are actually unregulated and only serve the purpose of benchmarking in-house standards of the particular store.  A “best by” label that says a food product is close to or even past its expiration is most likely perfectly edible even though it may be thrown out by the store selling it further contributing to the problem.