Table to Table Tips for Reducing Food Waste 

Every one of us has, at some point, opened our refrigerator to find leftover food from meals prepared earlier in the week. Our first reaction is typically a pang of guilt at the sight of the limp green beans, dry chicken or wilted lettuce. The feeling of guilt is valid. Food waste is a big issue – but the good news is that there are easy ways we can all reduce it right in our own homes. Read on for some tips on how you can get started today! 

Plan, Plan, Plan 

The first step to reducing food waste is to make sure you’re buying what you really need at the grocery store and that means you should focus on meal planning. It sounds like a chore, but it’s truly a game-changer. Simply take a few minutes at the start of the week to plan out your meals. This way, you buy only what you need at the grocery store and avoid those impulse purchases that often end up going to waste. And, by following a recipe and making a grocery list, you can purchase the proper quantities of ingredients, so your food gets used. Plus, it can save you money in the long run and that’s a win-win! 

Leftovers Reimagined! 

Next, make a point of having an evening devoted especially to finishing any leftovers. Instead of letting them droop in the back of the fridge, try folding them into new meals. Got some roasted veggies from last night’s dinner? Throw them into an omelet for breakfast or a salad for lunch. Leftover chicken? Shred it up and make tacos or toss it into a stir-fry. Get creative and see what delicious dishes you can come up with!  

Storage is Key 

Another easy way to reduce food waste is to properly store your food using good quality storage containers. Explore the best way to store different types of produce to keep them fresh for as long as possible – learn what goes on the counter, what belongs in bags, what should or shouldn’t be pre-washed. And don’t forget about your freezer. Many foods can be frozen for later use, like bread, meat, and pasta. Remember to label your containers so the contents and the date when you prepared and froze them are clearly listed.  


Another great way to reduce food waste is to compost. Instead of tossing those fruit and veggie scraps into the trash where they’ll just end up in a landfill, you can turn them into nutrient-rich soil for your garden. Composting is easier than you might think, and it’s a great way to reduce your environmental impact while beautifying your garden. 

While reducing food waste at home, you can also support your neighbors – and your planet – by getting involved with Table to Table! As New Jersey’s first and largest food rescue, our mission is to reduce food waste and provide nourishment to our food-insecure neighbors throughout Northern New Jersey. Each year, we rescue millions of pounds of fresh food that would otherwise be wasted and deliver it to partner organizations who support the nearly 1 million people in our area who need it most. Visit us at to learn how you can get involved as a supporter, a “Food Rescue Hero” volunteer, and more. 

Together, we can reduce food waste in our home and make a positive impact on the planet. Every little bit of effort—no matter how small–leads to change.  


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