5 Ways to Save Money by Wasting Less Food

Food Too Good To WasteDid you know that Americans discard about 25% of the food we buy? That adds up to more than $2,000 each year that is thrown away per family!

If the food in landfills around the world were a country, it would rank third in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, behind only the US and China.

Be Part of the Solution

Help address these problems in a big way by becoming a King County Master Recycler Composter (MRC)! You’ll learn all about curbside recycling and composting, what you can do to reduce waste, how to buy, store and prepare food to keep it from going bad — then share what you learn with your community.

The King County MRC program is open to residents outside the cities of Seattle and Milton, with an outreach focus in south King County. Training starts March 26. Find out more on our websiteapplication are due by March 18!


If you live on the Eastside, take a peek at our Master Composter Eastside program.

Start Wasting Less Food Right Away

Seattle Tilth has been hired by King County to do this community outreach as part of King County’s Food: Too Good To Waste campaign. Try some of our favorite strategies:

  • Shop smarter. Try shopping in your own pantry first, and come up with a list of meals for the week to avoid impulse buys. When you do head to the store, buy from the bulk bins to get just the right amount.
  • Right food, right place. One of the best ways to keep food from going bad is knowing how and where to store fruits and veggies. Websites like stilltasty.com or eatbydate.com make it easy to find out how to store everything from kale (in a cup of water, in the fridge) to persimmons (at room temperature until ripe).
  • Turn recipes into “re-use-ipes.” Try making a dish that can incorporate leftovers and whatever else is on hand. Fritattas, stir frys, stews and smoothies are all great ways to use up odds and ends that might otherwise end up in the compost bin.
  • Know your leftovers. Prevent science experiments in your fridge by making room for a designated “eat soon” area. Put your leftovers there, as well as anything else that is close to spoiling, so they are front and center when you open the fridge to make a meal or grab a snack.
  • Use your nose. Is your milk past the expiration date? Don’t just toss it! “Sell by” and “use by” dates are simply suggestions by the manufacture for so-called “peak” quality, and most foods can be safely enjoyed well after what’s printed on the container.

Check out our photo gallery  to see how other people are wasting less and saving more. Then considering taking part in fun and rewarding community outreach offered by Seattle Tilth through King County Master Recycler Composter (MRC) and our other compost and recycling education programs!

King County Master Recycler Composter is managed by Seattle Tilth as part of King County’s Recycle More and Food to Good to Waste campaigns.

A version of this blog post was printed in Seattle Tilth’s newsletter, Way to Grow, December 2014-January 2015.

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