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Food: Too Good To Waste

Smart saving: eat what you buy

Love your leftovers (YouTube)

Watch the Love your leftovers video (YouTube).

Be aware of ingredients and leftovers you need to use up. You’ll waste less and may even find a new favorite dish in the process.

Plan ahead

  • Make a list each week of what needs to be used up and plan upcoming meals around it.
  • Designate an “eat soon” area in your fridge by moving food that's likely to spoil soon to the front of a shelf. Print and attach this label (PDF, 30 K) to the shelf, on a shoebox or other container to corral food that needs to be eaten soon.
  • Are you likely to have leftovers from any of your meals? Plan on an “eat the leftovers” night each week.

Use it up

  • Leftover greens or veggie tops can be blended and frozen for winter soups or kept whole and turned into broth (which you can also freeze).
  • Casseroles, frittatas, soups and smoothies are great ways to use leftovers, and odds and ends. For ideas on cooking with leftovers, visit our Recipe box.
  • Share food you won’t get around to eating with friends or neighbors before heading out of town.

Wondering about the shelf life of a particular food or drink? Check out these resources for shelf life information about specific foods (external links): USDA Food Product Dating Guide, or

Weekly shopping list (PDF)
Download this sign for a designated "eat soon" area in your refrigerator.

Foods not being consumed before they spoil account for 2/3 of all household food waste.
Toss it in the oven, not the trash! Quickly run a day-old loaf under water, shake it off and pop in the oven at 300 degrees for 10 minutes to taste like new.

Get started today!
Get started today!

Take the first step to see what you’re really tossing each week.

Visit our recipe box!
Recipe box

Looking for a new dish to use up leftovers? Visit our recipe box.

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Updated: Dec. 17, 2015

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