Study: California Households Waste $1,000 Worth of Food Yearly

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California households are among the most wasteful in the country when it comes to food. Households here in the golden state waste more than a quarter of their food each month.

That comes out to more than $1,000 every year. That's an extra thousand dollars you could still have in your wallet if you were using your food properly.

A recent study tackled the question --why  are we being so wasteful?

It seems the misunderstanding of food labeling is a huge factor. Do we as consumers actually understand the difference between "sell by" and "use by" dates?

The survey found nearly half of us won't eat foods marked past the "sell by" date. But, that is just the last day that it must be sold in a store.

After that, it's still good to eat -- even products marked with the "best by" date. "Best by" dates are about quality, not safety. The "use by" date is the one consumers should keep an eye on.

If this sounds a little confusing -- you're right. But understanding the differences can save you big money.

So, how can you be more resourceful with your food?

  • Freeze your food.
    • You can actually freeze the food right up to the use-by date, and it will be good to eat months later.
    • Most people will throw away dairy products first - well now they can use this handy tip instead of wasting it -- freeze it.
    • You can use the frozen milk cubes in coffee or tea!
  • Turn your stale bread or crusts into breadcrumbs
  • When cooking with foods such as potatoes, broccoli, or carrots, use it all. You don`t need to remove the peel or cut the stems off, as they often have additional nutrients in them
  • Donate the items you might be close to throwing out which aren`t yet out of date.
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