Make careful decisions about what and how much you buy at the grocery store.
• Shop at stores that offer misshapen food at a discount.
• Purchase prepared meals at the deli or salad bar, which allows supermarkets to make use of imperfect produce.
• Buy frozen foods, which suffer fewer losses from farm to shelf.
• Shop often. Start with a large trip and then make smaller follow-ups to buy a few days’ worth of produce at a time.
• Buy fresh food at local farmers markets.
Americans spend about as much at restaurants as they do at grocery stores.
• Skip the cafeteria tray. Diners who use trays waste 32 percent more than those who carry their plates in their hands.
• Take home leftovers.
• Share side dishes to keep portions under control.
• Ask the waiter to hold extras such as bread and butter you don’t plan to eat.
• Encourage restaurants and caterers to donate leftovers.
Small changes in the kitchen can reduce the amount of food your household throws out.
• Use FoodKeeper or other apps for food-expiration reminders.
• Switch to smaller dishes to control portions. The standard plate is 36 percent larger than it was 50 years ago.
• Eat leftovers on a regular night each week.
• Give uneaten food a second chance. Freeze or can extras. Blend bruised fruit into smoothies.
• Try not to waste water-intensive foods like meat.
Businesses, schools, nonprofits, and governments can all find ways to dump less food.
• Bring back home economics classes to teach cooking, canning, and storage basics.
• Get your school to join the USDA Food Waste Challenge.
• Ask your local government for a curbside food-scrap collection service like that provided in roughly 200 U.S. communities.
• Share the bounty of your home garden with your community through ampleharvest.org.