This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Save Money By Cutting Food Waste

I barely brushed the surface of combating food waste in a  recent article, but the comments added so much to the article that I thought I could stop at just one. And then I found some  more statistics.

In the U.S.:

  • We waste 40 percent of edible food
  • It costs $750 million just to dispose of the food we waste
  • And when you consider the extra costs of packaging, transporting, and storing wasted food, the overall cost of wasting food goes up to $165 billion.

But there's more - 33 percent of purchased meat is wasted, followed by 25 percent of seafood. Even 15 percent of purchased fruit is wasted. That's not good, especially when you consider that meat is so expensive, not to mention all food.

But what matters most is what happens in your household. And according to the same statistics, each U.S. household wastes between $28-43 per month on food. I've seen other statistics that put that number closer to $600 annually per household. That's not a huge amount of money, but  wasting money on food doesn't make sense any way you slice (or dice or julienne or…) it.

Smart storage

Food storage has changed a lot since my grandparents were growing up in the 30s. They preserved their meat by smoking it. They killed a chicken after lunch and dressed it for dinner. They say that they ate bad apples all winter. They started out eating the not-so-good apples first, but by the time they got to the good apples, they weren't very good, either. (But I don't know. This comes from the same grandfather who walked up hill to school both ways. And I think he was barefoot in the winter, too.)

Without question, freezers and refrigerators have  extended the life of produce and other foods, but I still waste food. I am getting better as using up the produce, but I am also trying to learn the best ways to store produce so it lasts as long as possible.

This winter, I noticed that my onions were getting moldy more quickly than they ever had before. After throwing out a handful of onions three times, I looked at how and where I was storing the onions. In a plastic bag, in a warm cabinet, next to a heat register. Well, according to the  National Onion Association (doesn't that make you want to cry?), there was nothing right about that. Onions should be not be stored in plastic bags; they need to breathe and prefer a cool, dry, well-ventilated environment.

Potatoes also  prefer a cool and dark, ventilated environment. A refrigerator, kept slightly warmer than normal, was recommended as a good place to store pounds of potatoes through the winter.

Refrigerator management

If you have produce drawers in your refrigerator that have different humidity settings, in general, vegetables should be at a high humidity setting. This keeps the water vapor inside the drawer which prevents vegetables from wilting.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs