It’s a problem just about everybody has experienced at some point. Food goes from the grocery store to the fridge — then, instead of going onto a plate, it goes bad and heads straight into the trash.
But Redditors are offering their easiest, most cost-saving tips for reducing food waste, thanks to one post asking others how they plan their grocery shopping.
The top comment came from a Reddit user who breaks down their personal grocery system.
“Plan a day to do all your shopping. The day before, sit down with your household and decide what you would like to eat this week … keep your recipes simple …” they write, also suggesting that shoppers planning for at least four dinners, two of which can create leftovers for two additional meals.
The last night in their personal system is a “flex night” that can feature leftovers, carryout, or what they refer to as a “misery meal” — a dinner that can be prepared at any state of mental or emotional fatigue.
After also considering breakfasts and lunches, they suggest, “Write each meal down on a calendar (or on a spreadsheet). Organize by what meals have ingredients that go off quickly and which ones last longer … Hang the calendar on the fridge/pantry door so you can always see it. Then make your grocery list — include quantities needed.”
This coincides with expert advice. Writing things down into an ordered structure turns a vague plan like, “I need to buy groceries,” into a specific, more actionable plan, such as, “I need to buy tomatoes, and I need to use them by Wednesday.”
“Shop your pantry and cross off the things you don’t need to buy … Shopping day, have a nice meal before you go out,” the comment continues. “Anything you buy in bulk, process right away — separate chicken breasts, wash and portion fruit … so on.”
This is a reference to a technique known as “task-batching,” which is the process of conducting multiple similar tasks at the same time.
If you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD or have trouble keeping on task, there are apps like Notion that can help you stay focused on eliminating food waste from your household when preparing to go grocery shopping.