Yikes! Americans Waste $500-$2,000 A Year On Uneaten Food

You might remember that one of my current goals is to save money by wasting less, so when I saw this article from the Wall Street Journal titled Leftovers: Tasty or Trash you know I had to read it.

The writer states that “the average U.S. family of four spends from $500 to $2,000 a year on food they never eat”. Wow! Hopefully some of us frugal types are (in this case) less-than-average, but it’s certainly some food for thought. We could probably offset the cost of rising food prices by just wasting less.

A few more more interesting quotes from the article:

“Vegetables are the most commonly wasted food in U.S. homes, making up some 25% of avoidable waste, according to CleanMetrics Corp.”

“The number of meals consumed in the home was declining in the U.S. until 2002 and then began to increase, according to NPD Group, a market research firm.”

Image from Leftovers: Tasty or Trash. Click here to read article.

I found the following quote extremely difficult to wrap my brain around – supposedly studies show that when I have lots of food at home, I tend to buy more than when I have less?

“People tend to overestimate what they need at the store when they are well-stocked at home, and to underestimate what they need when they don’t have enough.”

Well, anyway, it was an interesting read.

By way of an update on my goal of wasting less, I can definitely say that I’ve made progress towards developing habits in the kitchen that are helping me not throw away so much food. It’s nothing earth-shattering so I really don’t even have any amazing tips to share; it’s just been keeping my goal in the forefront of my mind at all times.

I can’t really say that wasting less has necessarily saved me hundreds of dollars (or even tens of dollars!) but I do feel like I’m being a better steward of what God’s given me, and as a bonus, I think focusing on wasting less has helped me keep my refrigerator and freezer more organized!