Savings Angel Di">
According to a recent government study, Americans may be losing calories but it’s not for the reason you think.
No, we’re not cutting calories by watching our portion sizes or swapping high fat foods for lean options. Instead, we are losing 1,249 calories per person per day because of wasted food.
That’s right, each day we’re throwing away enough calories to feed a person three square meals. However, to be fair, those calories represent total food loss and the wasted calories aren’t only coming out of your kitchen. Still, it makes you wonder what we could be doing differently.
Nearly one-third of food lands in the garbage
The data on lost calories comes from a report just published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that looks at nationwide food losses in 2010.
Shockingly, nearly one-third (31 percent) of the nation’s food supply at the retail and consumer levels was pitched during that year. We’re talking about food that is ready and able to be eaten – not food left on the ground in fields. That adds up to 133 billion pounds of wasted food that was worth $161.6 billion.
Not surprisingly, perishable foods made up the largest percentages of the losses.
Your freezer to the rescue
Although the USDA probably didn’t plan it this way, their report comes just as we enter March, which is Frozen Food Month. It’s perfect timing because your freezer is on the front lines of helping you avoid food waste.
The government report notes 21 percent of food waste happens at the consumer level. It’s the leftovers you never ate, the vegetables that spoiled in the fridge or the food you decided you simply didn’t like and threw away.
Think about how much you spend on groceries each month and then multiply that amount by 0.2. That’s how much money you could be throwing in the trash. A $800 monthly grocery budget means $160 lost each month. Ouch!
Fortunately, your freezer is standing by, waiting to help prevent all those times in which you pitched something in the trash because it was past its prime. Practically anything – from leftovers to blanched veggies — can be put in the freezer and saved for a later date.
I recommend doing a weekly fridge and pantry purge. Look for items that may be nearing their expiration and move them to the freezer. Some items, such as meats, can simply be wrapped and frozen. Others, most notably vegetables, might require some quick blanching or other prep work before heading to the freezer.
If you aren’t sure where to start, the National Center for Home Food Preservation is an excellent resource. And of course, there are plenty of blogs and other websites out there that provide tips on freezing, thawing and cooking from your freezer.
Keep watching our blog in the coming weeks as we work our way through Frozen Food Month. In addition to freezing your own foods, there will be plenty of deals and coupons on items you can buy from your grocer’s freezer.
In the meantime, put your freezer to work so it can help ensure you aren’t cutting calories the wrong way and wasting your hard earned money.
The best couponers save hundreds of dollars every month at the grocery store. However, extreme couponers can end up living very extreme lifestyles to get those savings. For over five years, SavingsAngel.com has equalized the playing field – giving extreme savings to busy families who don’t have the time or ability to be an extreme couponer. Each week, SavingsAngel.com’s over 70 angels combine over 2,000 products on sale at local grocery and drug stores with an enormous database of over 2000 different manufacturer coupons. These combinations result in our members getting access to over 300 products each week for 50% off or better. Simply log in, choose the deals you want, print or clip only the coupons you need, and save hundreds of dollars a month at regional and national stores. Our angels will personally work with you to craft a plan that will help you buy healthier food at lower prices – helping you keep $200 to $400 in savings each month.
Josh Elledge is the Chief Executive “Angel” of SavingsAngel, Inc. – launched from his home in January 2007. A husband and father of three, he now appears each week on television, in eight newspapers, and a number of radio stations across the country teaching families how to cut their grocery bill in half using the Internet. Elledge created the technology found on SavingsAngel.com through the need to save his own family’s money. Successfully able to cut his own grocery bill from $600 a month to less than $300 a month, his message has reached hundreds of thousands of families. SavingsAngel.com is now growing rapidly throughout the country. You can watch a short video at SavingsAngel.com that will explain more information about how to cut your own grocery bill in half with the help of SavingsAngel.com!