Tips to Be Thankful, Not Wasteful

November 14, 2018
| Created by Genevieve Daly, RDN, CD

The holidays are notorious for food waste. According to the National Resources Defense Council, an estimated 204 million pounds of turkey meat will get thrown away over Thanksgiving. Between preparing excess food for gatherings, overserving ourselves at meals, and poorly handling leftovers, it’s no wonder the rate of food waste is so high. Here are some tips to cut back on food waste in your home this holiday season.

Make a shopping list. Whether it’s typed out on an app, neatly written in a notebook, or Sharpied on the back of old receipts, shopping lists are crucial. Why?

They prevent overbuying. Writing down ingredients and amounts ensure you buy exactly what you need. The fear of running out of food during the holidays may make you want to buy extra, but make a list and stick to it.
They save you extra trips. Ever had to visit the grocery store two, even three, times in a day because you forgot a crucial ingredient? Grocery store aisles are already chaotic during the holidays, so save yourself the extra trip by making a thorough list.

Pro tip: Save yourself the hassle by ordering your holiday dinner ingredients through Harmons eShop this year.

Small portions are key! Start with small portions of dishes that appeal to you. This way you can try more dishes while deciding which ones you want seconds of. An added benefit is that you don't have to choke down a large serving of a dish you weren’t particularly fond of.

Store leftovers safely. At holiday events, it’s not unusual for food to be sitting out for hours at a time. Make sure everyone serves themselves, ask if anyone wants seconds, then save the rest as leftovers. Label and date each item and be sure to use within 3-4 days or 1-2 months for frozen leftovers. Alternatively, send guests home with a plate of leftovers so they can enjoy them, too!

Give a Gobble. Donating to the Utah Food Bank is a great way to reduce food waste year round. Harmons is proud to partner with the Utah Food Bank and the Crossroads Urban Center for the 21st year of Give a Gobble. Stop by any Harmons location now through Thanksgiving and make a $5 or $10 donation at checkout to help provide Thanksgiving meals to Utah families.