Preventing Wasted Food

Are you interested in discovering how to reduce wasted food in your home while saving money? Check out the resources on this page. Want to learn more? Visit

Ways to Reduce Wasted Food

Shop Smart

  • Shop your refrigerator and pantry first! Cook or eat what you already have at home before buying more.
  • Plan your meals before you go shopping and buy only those things on your list.

Think Outside the Box

  • Be creative! Try substituting if you don't have exact ingredients. Use up odds and ends, and leftovers before your next grocery shop.
  • Freeze, preserve or can surplus fruits and vegetables-especially abundant seasonal produce.

Ordering Out

  • At restaurants, order only what you know you can finish, or be sure to take home the leftovers for another meal.

Store Your Food Properly

Food Storage Guide (PDF)
Food Storage Guide (Spanish Edition) (PDF)
Eat This First Sticker (PDF)
Preventing Wasted Food (PDF)


Forty percent of all food produced in the U.S. is wasted. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), food is the single largest type of waste going to landfills and incinerators. Much of the food that is discarded in landfills is actually safe, wholesome food that could have been used to feed people. When excess food, leftover food, and food scraps are disposed of in a landfill, they decompose and become a significant source of methane - a potent greenhouse gas. So when you are shopping and making meals, think about how you can prevent wasting food to save money, help communities, and protect the environment.

Learn More about Reduce Wasted Food at School and Work.

Don't forget to compost food scraps rather than adding them to the landfill!

Shop Local! Hamilton County Farmers' Markets Locator