Save Money, Save the Environment: 3 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Food Waste

Food waste in the United States has reached unimaginable levels. The Guardian estimates that half of all perfectly good produce is thrown away, both “upstream” at the farms and “downstream” in groceries, restaurants, and households. Reducing your personal food waste will not only help address this epidemic, but can also save you time and money! Below are some simple tips and tools to reduce your food waste.

save food what gets tossed

Plan Your Meals

Ready to save money and the environment? Introducing the Guestimator! This handy tool will help you calculate how much food you need to feed any party, including those voracious teenagers and picky in-laws. With their measurements, you’ll reduce the amount of leftover ingredients that tend to rot in the back of the fridge. Plus, you’ll save money by buying only as much as you need!

For smaller family meals, you might enjoy this Meal Kit Catalog from Handpick, a selection of yummy recipes that share ingredients. Take the guesswork out of grocery shopping and meal preparation and try some yummy new recipes at the same time!

meal catalog

Cook Those Leftovers

The average American dumps 3.5 pounds of leftovers a week, but it can be hard to make week-old food appetizing again. Our solution? Dump the microwave! All of us are guilty of shoving leftover ingredients to the back of the fridge in favor of fresher, exciting food, but these tips from Save the Food can help revive that perfectly good food into a totally new entree. You’ll find creative recipes from falafel to browned-banana bread! Save the Food also offers simple ways to revive meals gone awry, whether burned, stale, or overcooked.

Afraid of reheating pasta or rice to dried-out oblivion? Check out these tips for pasta with and without sauce, and perfectly fluffy rice! And these leftover recipes from BBC Good Food help you reuse everything from wilted salads to stale bread. 

Re-think Expiration Dates

Did you know “best-by” dates on food aren’t a good indicator of food safety? The next time you do a refrigerator purge, ignore those cryptic codes and use Eat By Date as a reference. For any iffy food item, Eat By Date offers information on shelf life, storage tips, and even creative ways to use extra food before it expires!

The best way to extend the shelf life of your food even further is to store it properly. Check out these tips on proper food storage from Save the Food — they have tips on refrigeration, freezing, and even reviving stale staples!

Get Involved in the Effort to Save Food! 

If you like these tips for reducing personal food waste, consider getting involved in your local community effort to save edible food. Whether you’re interested in gleaning overlooked produce from local farms, starting a community composting movement, or signing a petition to ask grocery stores to redistribute leftover produce, there are plenty of ways to help!

Even your weekly grocery shopping can make a difference. Consider supporting or starting a local co-op grocery store – click here to find one near you! Since they’re run democratically by you and your neighbors, co-ops tailor their ordering and waste less food.

co ops commit

Co-ops are leaders in sustainable practices like recycling and composting, and are committed to reducing carbon output through local food distributors. Plus, many co-ops offer discounts or monthly dividends for member-owners, so you can get money back on your healthy groceries!

However you choose to reduce food waste, it takes a community to foster change: consider sharing this article with your friends with the links below!

 

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Save Food, Save Money: Cook Those Leftovers!

With food waste on the rise in the United States, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re eating all of the edible food in your fridge. But how do you make leftovers appetizing again? Below are some helpful tips and tricks for making the most out of your food – over and over again.

Cook Those Leftovers

The average American dumps 3.5 pounds of leftovers a week, but it can be hard to make week-old food appetizing again. Our solution? Dump the microwave! The secret to making old food tasty is to cook it with care, using the stove, oven, and even the grill. Here are some creative recipes for ingredients past their prime.

All of us are guilty of shoving leftover ingredients to the back of the fridge in favor of fresher, exciting food, but these tips from Save the Food can help revive that perfectly good food into a totally new entree. You’ll find creative recipes from falafel to browned-banana bread! Save the Food also offers simple ways to revive meals gone awry, whether burned, stale, or overcooked.

leftover recipies

Afraid of reheating pasta or rice to dried-out oblivion? Check out these tips for pasta with and without sauce, and perfectly fluffy rice! And these leftover recipes from BBC Good Food help you reuse everything from wilted salads to stale bread.

Even your weekly grocery shopping can make a difference in the fight against food waste. Consider supporting or starting a local co-op grocery store – click here to find one near you! Since they’re run democratically by you and your neighbors, co-ops tailor their ordering and waste less food, and they are leaders in recycling and composting. If you live in Essex County, MA, consider becoming a member of the Merrimack Valley Food Co-op, a start up grocery co-op that will serve the Haverhill, Lawrence, Newburyport, and Methuen areas.

However you choose to reduce food waste, it takes a community to foster change: consider sharing this article with your friends!

 

Save Food, Save Money: Meal Planning

Food waste in the United States has reached unimaginable levels. The Guardian estimates that half of all perfectly good produce is thrown away, both “upstream” at the farms and “downstream” in groceries, restaurants, and households. Reducing your personal food waste will not only help address this epidemic, but can also save you time and money! This series will provide some simple tips and tools to reduce your food waste.

save food what gets tossed

Plan Your Meals

Ready to save money and the environment? Meal planning has been proven to help you save money at the grocery store, eat healthier, and throw out less food; but how do you go from eating out every night to type-A planner? Here are a couple tools to help out:

Introducing the Guestimator! This handy tool will help you calculate how much food you need to feed any party, including those voracious teenagers and picky in-laws. With their measurements, you’ll reduce the amount of leftover ingredients that tend to rot in the back of the fridge. Plus, you’ll save money by buying only as much as you need!

For smaller family meals, you might enjoy this Meal Kit Catalog from Handpick, which makes both grocery shopping and cooking a breeze! Each kit contains a selection of yummy recipes that share basic ingredients. Take the guesswork out of grocery shopping and meal preparation and try some yummy new recipes at the same time!

meal catalog

If you like these tips for reducing personal food waste, consider getting involved in your local community effort to save edible food. Whether you’re interested in gleaning overlooked produce from local farms, starting a community composting movement, or signing a petition to ask grocery stores to redistribute leftover produce, there are plenty of ways to help!

Even your weekly grocery shopping can make a difference. Consider supporting or starting a local co-op grocery store – click here to find one near you! Since they’re run democratically by you and your neighbors, co-ops tailor their ordering and waste less food. If you live in Essex County, MA, consider becoming a member of the Merrimack Valley Food Co-op, a start up grocery co-op that will serve the Haverhill, Lawrence, Newburyport, and Methuen areas.

co ops commit

Co-ops are leaders in sustainable practices like recycling and composting, and are committed to reducing carbon output through local food distributors. Plus, many co-ops offer discounts or monthly dividends for member-owners, so you can get money back on your groceries!

However you choose to reduce food waste, it takes a community to foster change: consider sharing this article with your friends!

Veggin’ Out at SALSA Fest

The MVFC vegged out at SALSA Fest, but not like couch potatoes! Several fruits and vegetables were in attendance at last week’s SALSA Fest in Lawrence, MA, and they were all excited to talk co-ops.

Tomato

The partly-cloudy weather held as Merrimack Valley Food Co-op volunteers and members handed out delicious Equal Exchange fruit bars and chatted about the benefits of a food co-op in Essex County, MA. “Despacito” played across the beautiful South Common Park, and gleeful kids ran from table to table to play games and grab goodies. We had a blast playing the “Fruits and Vegetable Game”!

suzanne with kids

New and familiar faces stopped by the tent to hear more about our upcoming events, like the upcoming Savor Series featuring the Kennedy Hill Farm, and our vision for the first food co-op in the county. We signed up 19 new people to our email list, each of whom were entered in a raffle for natural cleaning products. We are also so excited to announce a new member family. Please welcome Kendrys Vasquez and his family to the co-op!

New members to the co-op family!

New members to the co-op family!

SALSA Fest highlighted local organizations committed to community health and wellness: the perfect place to talk co-ops. Food co-ops encourage a healthy and active lifestyle by providing far more fresh, local, and organic produce options than regular grocery stores. Many food co-ops offer classes on healthy eating and nutrition, because co-ops are dedicated to the community that supports and runs them. Supporting your local food co-op not only saves you money on your healthy groceries, but uplifts and educates your community!

Thanks again to Moderno Appliance and Equal Exchange for their generous donations, and to Groundwork Lawrence for another successful SALSA Fest.

We hope to see all of you at the last Savor Series before summer, June 24th from 4-6 PM!

Congratulations, Stephanie

raffle_drawing_02_winner_stephanie

Congratulations, Stephanie our Raffle winner and co-op member! She won the tickets to A Christmas Carol as part of our recent membership campaign. We hope you enjoyed the show and are so glad that you are part of our Merrimack Valley Food Co-op community.

2nd Annual Meeting

coop-highlights-2015

Our 2nd Annual Meeting will take place on Sunday, October 23, 2016 in Haverhill. Board members will recap a productive year and share highlights and plans for the next year.

All current members have received details about this event in the newsletter.  If you are not a current member and would like to participate, please use our contact form to request more information.

Our co-op is building member by member every year and we are excited to share our progress.

June is Membership Month

Screen Shot June Mini

Our membership goal for June is to sell 35 new memberships. A co-op membership means that the person buying a membership owns one share in our start-up cooperative grocery store.  Any one person can own only one share. That is why it is so important that many people buy shares so our community will own and make decisions about this local business together.

MVFC shares cost a one time amount of $150. We also accept payment plans of $25 each month the six months.

Bonus during “Help Us Grow the Co-op” membership month is the first 35 people to pay for their membership in full will get a free MVFC t-shirt.

Click here for a MVFC Membership Agreement

You can mail the completed form with a check for $150 made payable to Merrimack Valley Food Co-op. We are working on easier ways for you to join.

Questions? Email Suzanne@mvfood.coop.

Let’s grow the co-op together.

Annual Meeting follow-up

MVFC_Annual_MtgWe had great participation at our 1st Annual Meeting and it was terrific to meet several new members. Thanks to Lakeview Kitchen, once again, for allowing us to host the meeting there and for the delicious soup.

We discussed our accomplishments from the past year, including our increased FB following and the many public events where we met like-minded co-op fans.

There is still much work to be done and we will focus our efforts in the next year to continue selling member shares and to spread the word about how much a co-op can help the local economy with jobs, healthy food choices, and a group of members dedicated to their community.

Please join us today and become a member!

 

Co-operative Principles

Coop_principles_logo

MVFC also adheres to the internationally recognized cooperative principles as outlined from the International Co-operative Alliance

 

1st: Voluntary and Open Membership

Co-operatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

2nd: Democratic Member Control

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members—who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions and are accountable to the membership.

3rd: Member Economic Participation

Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.

4th: Autonomy and Independence

Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If the co-op enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the members and maintains the cooperative’s autonomy.

5th: Education, Training and Information

Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of co-operation.

6th: Co-operation among Co-operatives

Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

7th: Concern for Community

Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.

 

MVFC is on HC Media

HC Media June 4How exciting to spread the word about our cooperative grocery store plans with a television appearance. Lindsay Paris spoke with several board members and co-op members and did a great job creating a video about the MVFC and where we are currently with our plans. The showed started airing on June 4th, but you can also catch the episode here on the HC Media Haverhill Journal YouTube channel. The entire broadcast has interesting information, but MVFC starts at 5:42 if you can’t wait to see our bit.

Thank you Lindsay and everyone else who made this possible. Please share the link and tell everyone to learn more about the MVFC. Haverhill Journal YouTube