You know that occasional fridge purge you have to do when suddenly you’re sniffing something strange…all the way down the hall? Implement a few of these tips to make the most out of your groceries.


1. Freeze your fruit. Brown banana problems? Past-its-prime avocado issues? In-season-only strawberries? Fear not: Slice your soon-to-be overripe produce, stash it in resealable freezer bags and break it out for smoothies, guacamole, banana bread and the like.

2. Embrace leftovers. If you notice that you keep having a surplus of servings, opt for recipes that will hold up in the fridge for a day or more. Think: lasagna (mmm…) over dumpling soup (which really only works that day).

3. Or get creative with repurposing. Sunday’s mashed potatoes become Tuesday's breakfast. Yesterday’s salad scraps make a mean skillet brunch. And all that cooked spaghetti? You've got pie.


4. Freeze your veggie scraps. The inedible stuff (stems, stalks and skins) can still have a purpose. Store your scraps in the freezer and thaw ’em when it’s time to make soup stock.

5. Buy less, more frequently. Instead of one massive grocery-store trip, spread it out in smaller increments over the week. You’ll end up buying specific ingredients for specific meal ideas or moods, rather than convincing yourself you’ll use that whole gallon of yogurt. (You won’t.)

6. Compost! It’s easier than it seems. Composting keeps food waste out of both your garbage (read: no smells) and landfills (bonus). For the food you don’t eat: Toss the scraps in a backyard compost. You can use the fertilized soil later on your petunias.


7. Feed your plants. A less intense idea: Take your used coffee grounds and give your houseplants a boost. Stargazer lilies love Starbucks.

8. Get in the habit of sharing. Sometimes, there’s just too much to go around your personal home--and less at others’. (If you need further evidence, let the genius John Oliver explain.) For any excess servings you know you won’t use, give it away by donating to your local food bank. Or, take your cue from Spain. One town recently created a community fridge, where residents can help themselves to fresh produce, home-cooked meals and leftover tapas. Not the worst idea to run by your local volunteer group.

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