Thanksgiving is next Thursday and that means family, friends and lots of food. Here are some tips for reducing the amount of food you waste.
- Plan your menu. If you know what you’re cooking or who’s bringing what tater tot casserole, you won’t have three bowls of mashed potatoes on the table — though that wouldn't be the worst thing.
Get a head count. This is step two of menu-planning. If there are only 8 guests coming, cooking for 20 is 1) stressful and 2) unnecessary. Knowing the length of your guest list will help you decide how much to buy.
- Think about portions. Whether you are cooking for 2 or 20, Love Food Hate Waste’s portion calculator can help you make just the right amount.
- Open your refrigerator — and pantry — first, so you don't buy what you already have.
- Make a shopping list with only the food you need on it.
- Keep the giblets and other bits. Don't throw away the turkey "extras". They will make the best-tasting gravy. You can also use the pile of vegetable trimmings to make stock for soup.
- Let the leftovers leave. Encourage your guests to bring containers so that they can take home some of the leftovers.
- Use the rest of the leftovers. Even if everyone takes home some leftovers, you’ll probably still have something to use up, maybe in a turkey hot dish. Lunds and Byerlys has some great day-after-Thanksgiving recipes.
- Use your freezer. Use your freezer to store leftovers, just be sure to store properly and put them in the freezer right away.