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This Simple Trick Will Save You Thousands of Dollars on Groceries Every Year

Conducting a food waste audit is a simple way to cut back on grocery bills, as well as keep perfectly-good food out of landfills. Here's how to do it in three steps.

food waste audit
Written by
Riley Baker
Conducting a food waste audit isn't just an exercise in environmental conservation. It's also about creating a sustainable lifestyle that saves you money while also saving the planet—aka a truly winning combination.
If you're interested in concocting a food waste audit, getting started is easy. By taking the time to do so, you could wind up saving thousands of dollars on groceries every year.

What Is a Food Waste Audit?

food waste audit
A food waste audit is a process of measuring and analyzing the amount of food waste generated over a certain period of time, typically a week, in your home. It involves tracking the types and quantities of food wasted, identifying the reasons for the waste, and developing strategies to reduce it.
Conducting a food waste audit can help conscious consumers save money, reduce their environmental impact, and contribute to a more sustainable food system.

The Benefits of a Food Waste Audit

Why, you might ask, should you bother with a food waste audit? What's in it for you? It might take some extra time, but the rewards are plentiful and far-reaching. 

1. Lessening Your Environmental Footprint

The food waste problem extends far beyond your kitchen. It's a worldwide issue, with
70 billion pounds of food waste
entering landfills every year. By decreasing the amount of food you waste, you're doing your part in the fight against
climate change

2. Boosting Your Wallet

Tossing out food is akin to throwing your hard-earned money into the garbage. By curtailing your food waste, you'll notice a considerable difference in your savings over time. Think about it: Even eating leftovers a few times per week instead of tossing them out will add money back into your pocket.

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3. Acquiring New Life Skills

Conducting a food waste audit equips you with essential skills—such as effective
meal planning
and proper food storage techniques—which will prove advantageous throughout your life.

How to Conduct a Food Waste Audit: A Step-By-Step Guide 

food waste audit
Does the thought of conducting a food waste audit feel a bit overwhelming? Don't sweat it! It's actually easier than you may think. All it requires is a dash of commitment and a desire to make a positive impact. So, ready to embark on this journey? Let's dive in.

1. Collect Your Food Waste

For one week, write down all the food you throw away on a piece of paper or in a Google Doc. This includes everything from spoiled produce to half-eaten leftovers. Remember, the goal here is not to make you feel guilty, but to provide an objective look at your waste habits.

2. Analyze Your Waste

With the evidence of your food waste right before your eyes, it's time to play detective. Can you identify which types of food frequently end up in the trash? Is there a specific time when food waste seems to spike? This investigation will reveal potential areas for you to cut back on waste.

3. Make a Plan

Once you've scrutinized your waste, it's time to strategize. Could
meal prepping
be your secret weapon against waste? Or perhaps refining your
grocery shopping skills
or mastering the art of food storage? Crafting your personalized plan to combat food waste is the next step in this adventure.
Remember, this audit is not about perfection. It's about making sustainable changes that can lead to significant improvements over time. Be proud that you're taking steps to make a difference.

Tips for Maintaining a Successful Food Waste Reduction Program 

Maintaining a successful food waste reduction program is just that—a never-ending voyage. It requires you to constantly evaluate your progress, tweak your action plan as needed, and, of course, celebrate every little victory along the way.
But remember, it's not a solo expedition. Make it a community endeavor by keeping every member of your household in the loop and actively engaged. And don't forget—patience and persistence are your best companions on this journey. Yes, change doesn't happen overnight. But with unwavering commitment, you can truly make a substantial dent in the amount of food that's being tossed in the trash.