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Food: Too Good to Waste Challenge

We all struggle with food waste in our homes each week, from fruit that sat out a bit too long to meat that didn’t preserve as well as expected. In the United States, we throw out around 25 percent of all food that we purchase. That’s about 300 pounds per person each year that contribute to Arizona landfills. To help prevent this waste, ADEQ has partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) new program ­— Food: Too Good to Waste. Learn how you can manage your food waste more efficiently and save money in the process with the following tips: 

Tip 1

To start saving your family money, first you must be aware of how much food is being wasted. Take the six-week challenge to learn which items typically go bad in your home:

  • Weeks 1 & 2 — Track the food you or your family throws out with our easy Measuring Bag Worksheet | Download Food Tracker > 
  • Weeks 3 – 5 — Test some of our strategies for wasting less food with the Waste Less Food Tips
  • Week 6 — Measure and record your final weekly food waste and discover how much food (and money) you saved  | Download Measuring Bag Tool >  

Tip 2

Shop smart. Create a shopping list based on your meal plan for the week. Take into consideration days you’ll eat out so you don’t overbuy. Glance through your cabinets and refrigerator so you also don’t duplicate any items on your list, and make sure your list is specific to the quantities you will need for your weekly recipes. Get started with the Shopping List Meal Planner | Download Shopping Planner > 

Tip 3

Store food so it lasts longer and compost when you can. Once you return from your shopping trip, prep and store food properly by batching items that can be used in several meals and freezing extra ingredients right away. For any scraps and compostable waste, try starting a compost pile to keep more food waste out of landfills | Download Food Storage & Compost Guide >  

Tip 4

Keep track of food that is going to expire soon. Place an “Eat Soon Labelon food storage boxes, and clear a visible area for them in your fridge and on pantry shelves. This way your family will be aware of items that need to be eaten first. Another helpful trick is to store leftovers in the freezer right away. Use all your “eat soon” food first and create a meal or soup with your frozen leftovers later | Download Food Labels > 

Now that you’re on your way to becoming a food-saving specialist, share these tips with friends and neighbors | Download Full Toollit >