I recently read an informative bit of information from the Middlesex County Division of Solid Waste Management: Did you know that 30%-40% of food is wasted? That’s an awful lot of food! It’s estimated that each resident of Middlesex County throws away approximately 500 pounds of food each month, and they’re looking to change that! At their website, they explain the differences between a Best By date, a Sell By date, and a Freeze by Date, and how to check food for freshness. You might not have to throw away everything in your refrigerator, it might still be good to eat. Check before you toss! There’s more great tips for you at that website, so make sure you visit!
Another tip not on their list but one I take advantage of is the Manager’s Special at the grocery store. I already understand the differences between the dates listed above, and so I know that just because it’s a manager’s special doesn’t mean it’s going to go bad the day after I buy it. I introduced my daughter to this concept of shopping the manager’s special section when I visited her recently in North Carolina; I found a two serving container of Mediterranean-style pasta salad for $0.60. I had lunch for two days while at her house, for thirty cents each day! Lunch for $0.30!
When looking at food in your own house, it pays to know what to do with good that is about to go past it’s expiration. A great example is bananas. I’m pretty sure that some of you reading this have at least one banana that you think is too ripe to eat. Don’t throw it away! if you have a countertop oven or large toaster oven, make 4 little banana muffins! This has been my go-to-recipe for a while now. Everyone I know who’s tried it, falls in love with it, Even the kids can make muffins with this recipe!
With just a little planning and a little creativity, you can definitely save money and enjoy good food by checking dates and reducing waste!