Less fresh produce waste precise inventory control: Reduce fresh produce waste by 99% with better fresh produce inventory control during packing and processing, shipping. 

Less fresh produce waste precise inventory control: Reduce fresh produce waste by 99% with better fresh produce inventory control during packing and processing, shipping. 


[Fresh produce packing app] 

[Flower packing] 

[Food manufacturing]  

[Meat packing]  

[Farm management]  

[Fresh produce RFID]

99% less fresh produce packing waste

Accurate fresh produce & food inventory management reduces waste through better FIFO stock rotation, stock-takes, and inventory alerts. RFID pallet control (optional) for precision inventory tracking. 

Save time packing fruit & vegetables

Increase the efficiency of fresh produce inventory using options like scanning incoming bar-codes to reduce data entry & errors, integrate with scales for automatic weighing, ore RFID for automatic fresh produce inventory tracking.

Better fresh produce quality control

Guarantee the quality of your fresh produce packing with flexible fresh QC testing systems from your phone or tablet. Customer feedback management, supplier quality control and more...

Reduce fresh produce packing errors & control production

Project required inventory (and shortages), schedule orders to be packed in batches , automatic alerts to prodution line managers.

100% accurate fresh produce order shipping

Shipping teams are guided through the dispatch process from picking using a phone or tablet (optional bar-code scanning), automatic picking, thru bill of lading, invoice, and automatic shipping notifications for customers, transport, and sales teams.

Reduce fresh produce packing administration costs by 40%

Automatic generation of fresh produce labels, bill of lading, invoice, picking documents and more; reduces administrative burden.

Easy audit & recall systems reduces compliance costs.

Faster fresh produce inventory storage  inventory

Accurate fresh produce & food inventory management delivers reduced waste and increased employee productivity. Manage FIFO, improve stock-take accuracy, scan harvester data, and keep a watchful eye on your inventory... Easy stock-take identifies shrinkage and helps reduce waste from ageing. 

100% accurate fresh produce traceability

Maintain strict fresh produce traceability and high food safety standards always. Perform recalls based on lot/batch, pack date, invoice #, inventory #, pallet #, delivery date, purchase order #, or perform a recall on your own user defined data. Perform instant recalls both up and down the supply chain. Makes audits easy and instant. COVID-19 food safety & auditing available. 

Reduce fresh produce waste by 99%

Inventory control ensures there is no 'shrinkage', food inventory is FIFO managed, and expiring inventory always monitored.

Reduce administration time by 60%

Automatic paperwork, labels, and reporting reduces the burden on administration teams and saves everyone's time.

Better fresh produce quality now

Quality control and food safety has never been easier with industry standard quality tests, food safety checklists; or configure your own tests. 

100% accurate orders!

Guarantee only the correct inventory is shipped for each order, on time, every time.

Less fresh produce waste precise inventory control: Reduce fresh produce waste by 99% with better fresh produce inventory control during packing and processing, shipping. 

Farmsoft fresh produce packing app is for fruit & vegetable packer, processor, import/export.  Full fresh produce traceability, auditing, inventory control, and fresh produce business management app.

Quality inspection for fresh produce

Consistent and accurate quality control ensures higher customer satisfaction and adherence to industry, de-facto, and in-house quality control standards. Track supplier quality performance, customer feedback & complaints, create QC tests for any part of the fresh produce & food manufacturing process (incoming goods, raw materials, finished goods, expiry test, export/shipping tests), daily factory hygiene, machinery calibration, employee checklists... 

Fresh produce logistics

Manage orders, pack to order, picking and auto picking, dispatch & shipping process. Generate invoices, bill of lading, pick slips, export documentation and other sales documents... Dispatch teams are guided through the dispatch process ensuring every order is filled perfectly, and on time. Paperwork such as BOL, freight documents, export documents are automatically generated based on the customer and destination to guarantee no rejected shipments or issues at borders.

Fresh produce labels

Generate fresh produce SSCC pallet labels, GS1 case & PTI labels, bin labels, batch labels, traded unit labels, harvest labels and more. Use the built in industry standard labels for Walmart, Woolworths, Aldi, Tesco, Loblaws etc - or design your own with the built in label & report designer. Our team can design all of your fresh produce documents to ensure farmsoft matches your requirements perfectly.

Fresh produce packing control

Sales, Quality, Profit, Dispatch, Pack, Farm...... Dashboards for sales teams provide instant impressions of customer orders and current inventory levels. The dispatch dashboard helps plan shipments, order of loading, and transport companies & drivers... The Profit analysis dashboard shows margins per unit and most profitable customers. Use our API to access your data however you like.

Fresh produce batch packing

Project required raw materials needed to pack/manufacture orders, potential shortages, schedule multiple orders to be packed in batches on selected production lines with a few clicks, automatically send new job alerts to managers, schedule additional harvests, analyze outstanding orders. Manage entire packing and manufacturing process with ease.

Fresh produce alerts monitoring

Automatic alerts for shipments can be sent to customers, transport providers, or even team members. Every time a batch is finished processing, receive an alert with the pack-out breakdown and percentages of grades & quality and waste. Alerts can include simple shipment notifications, or even invoices and original order details. Other alerts include order changes/modifications, yield reports, new order alerts, and low inventory alerts... 

Farm app option

Implement the farmsoft Farm Management suite to provide a comprehensive integrated business management solution from seed to plate. Includes automatic task management, best practices, budgeting, farm inventory, PHI enforcement, audits, residue reporting, USDA reporting, dashboards, recalls and more... 

Fresh produce supplier quality control

Suppliers must know that your business is measuring and tracking their performance. Any trends that effect the quality of fresh produce can be quickly detected, automatically traced back to the fresh produce supplier (especially if a result of a customer complaint / feedback), management and purchasing teams are automatically alerted when a supplier quality issue happens. Quantify your suppliers quality using the Supplier Quality Dashboard. 

Fresh produce finance apps

Share data with your Xero finance app, Quickbooks, MYOB, SAGE, using our API, or request our team perform a custom integration for your fresh produce company. This is an optional module, please ask your consultant for additional details and discuss your specific requirements, additional costs will apply for integration with your chosen finance app. 

Fresh produce RFID

Automatic tracking of each pallet’s exact location. Makes loading orders accurate and easy, stops errors during shipping. Very low costs to setup your hardware using farmsoft’s innovative RFID for fresh produce solution. Pallets put onto truck are auto added to order, and checked for accuracy. Pick up a pallet and its RFID instantly selected. Add pallet/bin to production line and its auto added to batch for traceability.

Fresh produce API

Integrate with virtually any other app or software solution using the farmsoft API. It's open! Anyone can use it. Your in house I.T. team, or any external I.T. vendor you want to help you with integration. Add your own reports, extract special data, or even create new interfaces between farmsoft and any app such as accounting, payroll, B2B, B2C. Other integration in farmsoft includes the ability to integrate with selected weigh scales to capture fresh produce net delivery weights.

Fresh produce bloch-chain

Increase customer confidence and prove the credentials of your traceability integrity and transparency with block-chain ledger technology.   We use the chain-trace.com blockchain solution. (Optional module not included with standard Packing / Food Manufacturing ERP solution).

Less fresh produce waste precise inventory control: Reduce fresh produce waste by 99% with better fresh produce inventory control during packing and processing, shipping. 

The farmsoft inventory control app provides business wide quality management inspection systems for fresh produce, food manufacturing, seed processing, meat packing & processing, and flower packing.

Increase the speed of deliveries and inventory management, without compromising traceability. Capture accurate fresh produce delivery details, quickly, and efficiently from your phone, tablet or PC/Mac.

Scan incoming deliveries or use "one touch" rapid inventory creation screens to increase accuracy & reduce data entry time...
Or, use our image based touch screen interfaces to avoid using a mouse or keyboard, great for users that are in a hurry or have never used tech before.
Increase the speed of deliveries, without compromising traceability.
Capture accurate fresh produce inventory delivery details, quickly, and efficiently from your phone, tablet or PC/Mac. Optionally assign deliveries to associated purchase orders, capture tractability details, quality and more... Choose from a range of methods to capture fresh produce shipments and maximize traceability.
Tailored for you! - Choose from multiple screens to record your incoming deliveries. Easily customize the interface by turning on or off fields to guarantee your team captures the correct information during fresh produce inventory deliveries.
Easy labels and receipts - Email or print delivery dockets during fresh produce delivery to ensure suppliers and farms agree with the goods delivered. Record container/tote/pallet movements during deliveries, generate pallet, crate, bin, and tote labels and tags.

Reduce packing and processing errors for reduced fresh produce waste. Fresh produce inventory - Orders - Quality - Packing - Sales - Shipping - Recall - Audit - Food safety

Maximize profit and minimize waste for fruit & vegetable packers, shippers, exporter/importer... Accurate production reduces errors .
Production managers, line managers, and pack-house managers plan in advance to ensure every order is filled accurately and on time.
Rapidly view all the raw materials that will be required to pack selected orders (eg: today's orders, or this weeks, or a month). Easily assign these orders to batches and production lines, and automatically alert the line manager and the inventory manager.
Customer orders can be assigned to batches, and batches assigned to production lines/teams, guaranteeing correct product packed at the correct time, to the correct specifications . Use the rapid inventory interfaces to assign orders to production lines so pallets are automatically associated with orders, and can also contain order details such as customer reference, order number, and dispatch & delivery dates.
fruit production planning
Reduce errors in fresh produce packing and processing
fresh produce production management
Reduce errors in fresh produce packing and processing.

Accurate fresh produce orders makes happier customers and better profits fresh produce inventory - Orders - Quality - Packing - Sales - Shipping.

Every fresh produce order filled and dispatched on time. Shipping teams are guided thru the dispatch process to ensure each order is filled correctly by assigning inventory to orders and maintaining a running balance of order progress.
Increase customer satisfaction, reduce waste, save time...

Rapidly assess the orders for the day (or a date range), and compare to the inventory in stock, automatic calculations give you the balance that still needs to be packed to fill each fresh produce order.
Photos of pallets, containers, and truck registration can be easily attached to the invoice order order at any time including the point of dispatch.
Confirm pallets are loaded onto a truck by scanning them or selecting from a checklist from your mobile device.
Accurate fresh produce orders
Increase accuracy of your fresh produce shipments
Administration teams are alerted when orders are finished, and are presented with the correct documents for email or printing. Configure selected customers or team members to receive automatic dispatch and invoice alerts.
When an order is changed, alerts are sent to selected team members to guarantee everyone is aware of the updated order status.

Reduce administration costs in fresh produce packing & wholesale fresh produce inventory - Orders - Quality - Packing - Sales - Shipping - Recall - Audit - Food safety.
Instant paperwork, labels, documents, and emailed alerts save administration teams time. Invoice, pallet label, inventory label, dispatch docket, bill of lading... all produced automatically.

Preparing invoices, bill of lading, pick sheets, export documents, and other dispatch documentation can be time consuming for fresh produce packers and processors. farmsoft makes this easy by allowing you to specify which documents must go to each customer, then automatically generating & printing or emailing the documents for you.

‍Continually updating templates to print labels for inventory and pallets is a waste of time. farmsoft generates your pallet and inventory labels automatically, and even associates them with customer orders if you are 'packing to order'.

Extensive reports in farmsoft deliver new insight to management teams, and are automatically generated, saving administration teams from the tedious task of manually compiling reports in Excel.

Alerts are automatically sent to team members when orders are updated by admin; invoices and shipping notifications can also be automatically sent to customers, further reducing the burden on admin teams.

Integrate with financial solutions such as Sage accounting and other financial solutions to ensure accurate invoices are inserted into your accounting package.

Less fresh produce waste with precise inventory control for less waste and maximum profit using bar-codes, inventory & pallet numbers. Stock-takes can be performed simply by scanning inventory bar-codes, or ticking inventory on a list, or using RFID.

Less waste thru precise inventory control enforced using bar-codes, inventory & pallet numbers.
Stock-takes can be performed simply by scanning inventory bar-codes, or ticking inventory on a list
Tools help you monitor ageing inventory to minimize fresh produce waste. Track ageing inventory, receive automatic inventory alerts for low inventory levels. Assign deliveries to purchase orders to create three levels of traceability record keeping (most solutions support only one level up and down).
Stock-takes ensure fresh produce inventory is always 100% accurate and all product is accounted for at all times.
Import data from your packing machine : Easily import packing data (such as palletized goods) from various models of automated sorting, and packing machines such as Compaq InVision and other packing systems.
Set minimum balances for inventory re-ordering, ensuring all inventory levels are maintained accurately at all times.
Create purchase orders and use optional approval process, allows teams to submit orders to management, and ensures all executed purchase orders have correct approval.

Reduce fresh produce waste with precision inventory control, stock-takes, automatic inventory alerts, and inventory age monitoring systems.

Less fresh produce waste precise inventory control: Reduce fresh produce waste by 99% with better fresh produce inventory control during packing and processing, shipping.   Less fresh produce waste with precise inventory control for less waste and maximum profit using bar-codes, inventory & pallet numbers. Stock-takes can be performed simply by scanning inventory bar-codes, or ticking inventory on a list, or using RFID.

Less waste thru precise inventory control enforced using bar-codes, inventory & pallet numbers.
Stock-takes can be performed simply by scanning inventory bar-codes, or ticking inventory on a list
Tools help you monitor ageing inventory to minimize fresh produce waste. Track ageing inventory, receive automatic inventory alerts for low inventory levels. Assign deliveries to purchase orders to create three levels of tracebility record keeping (most solutions support only one level up and down).
Stock-takes ensure fresh produce inventory is always 100% accurate and all product is accounted for at all times.
Import data from your packing machine : Easily import packing data (such as palletized goods) from various models of automated sorting, and packing machines such as Compaq InVision and other packing systems.
Set minimum balances for inventory re-ordering, ensuring all inventory levels are maintained accurately at all times.
Create purchase orders and use optional approval process, allows teams to submit orders to management, and ensures all executed purchase orders have correct approval.

Reduce fresh produce waste with precision inventory control, stock-takes, automatic inventory alerts, and inventory age monitoring systems.

Less fresh produce waste
Precision fresh produce inventory helps reduce waste
Reduce fresh produce waste and maintain traceability from farm to supermarket with accurate inventory management
Produce inventory traceability is fundamental to our core principles as it provides an important link in protecting the health of our ultimate customer, fresh produce precision inventory - the end consumer. Our soft fruit in particular is eaten raw and it is therefore crucial that the supply chain we are involved in works diligently to protect this produce from contamination. We dedicate a lot of time, resource and energy to minimize the risk of foreign matter contaminating our produce in either the field, our pack-houses or in transit to our customers. Food safety has become a major issue world-wide, and particularly in Asia. So the New Zealand apple industry has invested heavily over many years to ensure the minimum of human intervention in its growing practices, opting instead for biological pest and disease management, making our apples almost indistinguishable from organic fruit.

Less waste fresh produce
Les fresh produce waste
"Following the quick and turbulent development of the industry for fresh food and vegetables, the importance of packaging for fruit and vegetables has grown day by day. Food bags of high quality have a high air permeability, so the products in the bag can continue breathing through the mesh long after they have been harvested, and can slowly give off all the water that they still carrying. This reduces the rate at which the fruits and vegetables rot and extends the shelf life. In addition, the labels on the bag aid traceability. This guarantees the safety of the food to consumers," says Shi Lei from Dameng Packaging.

GS1 has also been instrumental in establishing the new product recall system, Recallnet, an online portal which enables companies to create, approve and issue recall and withdrawal notifications to their customers and government agencies, efficiently and securely.

A record needs to be kept of each container after it is harvested. Remember that the container” can be all produce that shares the same date, crew, field and variety. The product code should be what is entered in the log. The record does not need to be on a computer, but it does need to be recorded in an easily accessible log. The record needs to include where the food was sent after it left the farm.

Having accurate inventory management is an important investment for any company. This can help with efficiency and in turn create greater customer satisfaction, which is beneficial to your bottom line. We will be looking at five major reasons and benefits of why you need accurate inventory management today and why you should be taking control of your stock now.

Hassle-free and accurate inventory orders
Many businesses using manual systems are more likely to recreate purchase orders from a template. While that system works, it is prone to errors, including human data entry mistakes and miscalculations. Proper inventory management would allow you to copy recent purchase orders and select specific item numbers so order errors can be minimized, in turn saving your business valuable time and money.

Always know where your inventory is
If you have a business with many locations, often employees keep calling each other to find a specific piece of inventory or to find out if it is even available. More accurate inventory management eliminates issues with inventory in different locations. By knowing where that piece of available inventory is that a customer wants leads to more sales, not to mention saving valuable time in locating inventory.

Keep up with your sales with accurate inventory management
Lost sales can occur by not having accurate inventory management. If you need to tell your customer to go to another store to find the item they want, you have most likely lost a valuable customer. With accurate inventory management, you can confidently sell to your customer by saying exactly where the item is. This also improves the customer experience whereby you can easily request a specific item to your store for the customer to pick up at a later date, never missing out on a sale opportunity again due to inaccurate inventory management.

Accurate inventory management can ensure customer satisfaction and repeat custom
Satisfying your customers is a recipe for repeat custom. One way of doing this is by being able to meet your customers’ demands quickly. Accurate inventory management ensures you meet that demand by enabling you to have the right products available as soon as your customers need them. Customers will buy confidently from you, knowing you have the inventory that meets their needs.

Create efficiency through accurate inventory management with an organized warehouse
Having accurate inventory management supports an organized warehouse. If your warehouse is organized, you will be more efficient at managing your inventory. Based on data and facts, choose to optimize your warehouses how you see fit, for example by putting the highest selling products together and in easily accessible places. In addition, this will help prevent product shortages and allow you to keep on top of inventory ordering, using space in your warehouse wisely. All this will create a more efficient system that fulfils orders with accuracy and ease, and more importantly save your business time and money.

A 6-Step Process for Improved Inventory Management

Brian Barry
April 14, 2021
inventory managment dude with clipboard
In omnichannel and ecommerce companies, inventory management, including tracking and reserving inventory for orders, is crucial for maximizing sales and improving customer satisfaction. If you can’t give customers accurate product availability, status, immediate delivery and store pickup, you’ll probably lose the sale and the relationship.

Inventory management systems and processes are dispersed throughout the business. It’s also difficult to analyze how to improve accuracy and timeliness. Without a total replacement, how can you incrementally improve systems and processes?

We will outline a 6-step process for assessing your inventory systems and developing an action plan for improvement.

Assemble Your Team
Make the project team company-wide including:

Study groups of merchants and inventory control
Warehouse personnel that can contribute inventory knowledge in receiving, cycle counting, order fulfillment and returns processes
Store personnel picking customer orders
Ecommerce analysts that work with inventory status
IT personnel that know these systems and can estimate desired systems changes
A senior management sponsor who can help elevate the priorities and solutions
Assess the Objective
Assess how the inventory management processes and systems can be improved in terms of accuracy, timeliness and higher order fill rates to maximize sales and customer service. To achieve this look at all these systems and supporting processes including:

Merchandise planning
Purchasing and purchase orders
In transit to DC and ASNs
Receiving, checking and put-away of stock
Customer order fill at store level
Customer order fulfillment and relieving inventory in the DC
Allocation and reservation of items to an order in the network
Returns processing and disposition as saleable
Inventory adjustments
What’s the Big Picture?
Start out collecting metrics that give you a picture of inventory accuracy. Data sets include order fill rates, formal inventory results company-wide (shrinkage and overage) and assessment of store-level and DC accuracy of on-hand data at the SKU level.

Include interviews with team members regarding the metrics and processes to identify where to look for the problem areas. A few of the major problems we see in consulting with ecommerce and omnichannel companies:

Lack of accurate SKU delivery dates on purchase orders
Inventory inaccuracy and inability to assign items to customer orders when color and size quantities are small. Each store often has limited quantities
DC inventory inaccuracy resulting in warehouse “cannot finds” or back orders
In a multi-warehouse network, business rules which prevent filling orders without multiple shipments or customer service involvement
Failure to streamline planning and ordering processes to shipping locations
Document Inventory Processes
One of the most effective things you can do is create flow diagrams and high-level documentation illustrating current inventory processes. Because of the interaction of systems and processes, these diagrams can help isolate where potential data flow problems and timing differences arise. Create both current state and future state illustrations. Use a documentation or collaboration tool to create diagrams and corresponding descriptions.

Often in inventory environments there is a master inventory file and one or more inventory subsystems with different functions. For example, an inventory file may be passed every 10 minutes to an ecommerce site. This would be considered a “slave” to the master item file. You will find other inventory-related files for special functions. All of these need to be understood in the discovery process.

One of the key things to understand is, are there processes that temporarily hold inventory for an order? When is inventory allocated to an order? When is inventory on hand actually decremented from the inventory files?

Integrate with All Inventory-Related Systems
One of the overall objectives is to create a single version of the truth. In older systems that are not truly integrated, you may find different data values for key items such as SKU sales and on-hand, on order.

Batch-based environments in older systems need to be eliminated if possible with online processes that improve inventory timeliness and visibility (e.g. arriving SKU inventory to DCs and stores or returns processed).

Develop An Action Plan
Every company’s assessment will be different. It’s important to prioritize the changes and estimate the effort and benefits. Low-hanging fruit is important. However, there are often changes that have to be made first in order to implement the most critical updates.

While these assessments require a lot of effort across departments, improved inventory management, including higher accuracy and availability, are critical to improving both sales and the customer experience while remaining competitive.

These three reports cover the programme of research that investigated how selling fresh fruit and vegetables loose or in packaging can impact household food waste.
The research looked at:

If packaging extends the shelf life of fruit and vegetables;
If selling items loose enables households to buy an appropriate amount for their needs; and
How people make decisions about when to throw away fruit and vegetables, and what role does a ‘Best Before’ date have on these decisions.
In the first of the reports, Modelling the impact of selling products loose or in packaging, these effects are modelled using the Household Simulation Model. This approach simulates the journey of food through the home, including how much is wasted. This allows us to investigate how actions and decisions by households, alongside attributes to the food (such as shelf life), influence the amount of food waste.

This modelling was supported by the other pieces of research, which obtained new evidence to inform the above modelling:

Experiments measuring the shelf life of fruit and vegetables, comparing loose items and those in packaging is described in The impact of packaging and refrigeration on shelf life. This report also includes comparisons of shelf life in different storage conditions, in addition to data for some dairy items.
Citizen insights on the influence of packaging and date labels on disposal decisions describes an on-line survey to add to our understanding of how people decide whether to use items or throw them away.

20 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Food Waste
Food waste is a bigger problem than many people realize.

In fact, nearly one-third of all food produced in the world is discarded or wasted for various reasons. That equates to nearly 1.3 billion tons every year (1).

Not surprisingly, industrialized countries like the United States waste more food than developing nations. In 2010, the average American generated about 219 pounds (99 kg) of food waste, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (2).

While you might not think food waste affects you, think again.

Tossing edible food doesn’t just waste money. Discarded food is sent to landfills, where it rots and produces methane gas, which is the second most common greenhouse gas. In other words, throwing out your food contributes to climate change.

It wastes a huge amount of water, too. According to the World Resources Institute, 24% of all the water used for agriculture is lost through food waste every year. That’s 45 trillion gallons (about 170 trillion liters).

Although these numbers may seem overwhelming, you can help reduce this harmful practice by following the easy tips in this article. Every little bit helps.

1. Shop Smart
Mapodile/Getty Images
Most people tend to buy more food than they need.

Though buying in bulk may be convenient, research has shown that this shopping method leads to more food waste (3).

To avoid buying more food than you need, make frequent trips to the grocery store every few days rather than doing a bulk shopping trip once a week.

Make a point to use up all the food you purchased during the last trip to the market before buying more groceries.

Additionally, try making a list of items that you need to buy and stick to that list. This will help you reduce impulse buying and reduce food waste as well.

2. Store Food Correctly
Improper storage leads to a massive amount of food waste.

According to the Natural Resource Defense Council, about two-thirds of household waste in the United Kingdom is due to food spoilage (4).

Many people are unsure how to store fruits and vegetables, which can lead to premature ripening and, eventually, rotten produce.

For instance, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers and onions should never be refrigerated. These items should be kept at room temperature.

Separating foods that produce more ethylene gas from those that don’t is another great way to reduce food spoilage. Ethylene promotes ripening in foods and could lead to spoilage.

Foods that produce ethylene gas while ripening include:

Green onions
Keep these foods away from ethylene-sensitive produce like potatoes, apples, leafy greens, berries and peppers to avoid premature spoilage.

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3. Learn to Preserve
While you might think fermenting and pickling are new fads, food preservation techniques like these have been used for thousands of years.

Pickling, a type of preservation method using brine or vinegar, may have been used as far back as 2400 BC (5).

Pickling, drying, canning, fermenting, freezing and curing are all methods you can use to make food last longer, thus reducing waste.

Not only will these methods shrink your carbon footprint, they will save you money as well. What’s more, most preservation techniques are simple and can be fun.

For example, canning an excess of ripe apples and turning them into applesauce, or pickling fresh carrots from the market will provide you with a delicious and long-lasting treat that even kids will enjoy.

4. Don’t Be a Perfectionist
Did you know that rummaging through a bin of apples until you find the most perfect-looking one contributes to food waste?

Though identical in taste and nutrition, so-called “ugly” fruits and vegetables get passed up for produce that is more pleasing to the eye.

The consumer demand for flawless fruits and vegetables has led major grocery chains to buy only picture-perfect produce from farmers. This leads to tons of perfectly good food going to waste.

It’s such a big issue that major grocery chains like Walmart and Whole Foods have started offering “ugly” fruits and vegetables at a discount in an attempt to reduce waste.

Do your part by choosing slightly imperfect produce at the grocery store, or better yet, directly from the farmer.

5. Keep Your Fridge Clutter-Free
You’ve probably heard the saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” This rings especially true when it comes to food.

While having a well-stocked fridge can be a good thing, an overly filled fridge can be bad when it comes to food waste.

Help avoid food spoilage by keeping your fridge organized so you can clearly see foods and know when they were purchased.

A good way to stock your fridge is by using the FIFO method, which stands for “first in, first out.”

For example, when you buy a new carton of berries, place the newer package behind the old one. This helps ensure that older food gets used, not wasted.

6. Save Leftovers
Leftovers aren’t just for holidays.

Although many people save excess food from large meals, it is often forgotten in the fridge, then tossed when it goes bad.

Storing leftovers in a clear glass container, rather than in an opaque container, helps ensure you don’t forget the food.

If you happen to cook a lot and you regularly have leftovers, designate a day to use up any that have accumulated in the fridge. It’s a great way to avoid throwing away food.

What’s more, it saves you time and money.

7. Eat the Skin
People often remove the skins of fruits, veggies and chicken when preparing meals.

This is a shame, because so many nutrients are located in the outer layer of produce and in poultry skin. For example, apple skins contain a large amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

In fact, researchers have identified a group of compounds present in apple peels called triterpenoids. They act as potent antioxidants in the body and may have cancer-fighting abilities (6Trusted Source, 7).

Chicken skin is packed with nutrients as well, including vitamin A, B vitamins, protein and healthy fats (8).

What’s more, chicken skin is an amazing source of the antioxidant selenium, which helps combat inflammation in the body (9Trusted Source).

These benefits are not limited to chicken and apple skin. The outer layers of potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, mangoes, kiwis and eggplants are also edible and nutritious.

Not only is eating the skin delicious, it’s economical and reduces your food waste impact.

8. Eat the Yolk
Although most people are moving away from the once-popular low-fat dieting trend, many still avoid egg yolks, opting for egg-white omelets and scrambled egg whites instead.

Avoiding egg yolks mostly stems from the fear that they increase cholesterol levels. Many people assume that eating foods high in cholesterol, like eggs, has a major impact on cholesterol levels.

However, studies have shown that in most people, dietary cholesterol only has a small effect on cholesterol levels (10Trusted Source, 11).

Your liver actually makes the majority of the cholesterol you need and your body closely regulates levels in the blood. When you eat foods that contain a high amount of cholesterol, your liver simply compensates by producing less.

In fact, evidence shows that most people, even those with high cholesterol, can enjoy whole eggs risk-free (12Trusted Source).

What’s more, egg yolks are packed with nutrients, including protein, vitamin A, iron, selenium and B vitamins (13).

If you simply don’t like the taste or texture of egg yolks, you can add them to other recipes to mask the flavor. You can even use yolks as an ultra-moisturizing hair mask.

9. Be a Seed Saver
Out of the 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins produced in the United States every year, most end up getting thrown away.

While carving pumpkins can be fun for the whole family, there are ways to reduce the waste that comes along with this activity.

Aside from using the tasty flesh of your pumpkins in recipes and baking, a great way to cut waste is to save the seeds. In fact, pumpkin seeds are tasty and packed with nutrients.

They are very high in magnesium, a mineral that is important for heart and blood health and helps control blood pressure and blood sugar levels (14, 15Trusted Source).

To save pumpkin seeds, simply wash and dry the seeds, then toss them with a little olive oil and salt and toast them in the oven.

Acorn and butternut squash seeds can be prepared in the same way.

10. Blend It Up
Blending up a nutrient-packed smoothie can be a delicious way to reduce food waste.

While the stems, ends and peels of produce may not be appetizing in their whole form, adding them to a smoothie is a way to reap their many benefits.

The stems of greens like kale and chard are packed with fiber and nutrients, making them a great addition to smoothies. The tops of beets, strawberries and carrots also make great add-ins.

Other items that would otherwise be discarded can also be thrown into a nutritious blend, including fruit and vegetable peels, wilted herbs, overripe bananas and chopped broccoli stalks.

11. Make Homemade Stock
Whipping up a homemade stock is an easy way to use excess food.

Sauté vegetable scraps like the tops, stalks, peels and any other leftover bits with some olive oil or butter, then add water and let them simmer into an aromatic vegetable broth.

Veggies aren’t the only scraps that can be transformed into a flavorsome stock.

Rather than letting the chicken carcass or meat bones leftover from your dinner go to waste, simmer them with veggies, herbs and water to make a homemade stock that will put store-bought broth to shame.

12. Perk Up Your Water
Many people don’t drink enough water simply because they don’t like the flavor, or lack thereof.

Luckily, you can make water tastier and reduce your food waste impact at the same time.

One of the easiest ways to increase your water intake is to make it taste good. Use peels from citrus fruits, apples and cucumbers to add a kick to your glass of water or seltzer.

Wilted herbs and berry tops also make excellent additions to your water bottle.

After finishing your water, toss the leftover fruit or herbs into a smoothie for a zero-waste nutrition boost.

13. Keep Your Serving Sizes in Check
Overeating is a problem for many people.

Making sure your portion sizes stay within a healthy range doesn’t just help keep your weight down, it also reduces food waste.

While you may not think twice about scraping the leftover food on your plate into the trash, remember that food waste has a major impact on the environment.

Being more mindful of how hungry you actually are and practicing portion control are great ways to reduce food waste.

14. Get Friendly With Your Freezer
Freezing food is one of the easiest ways to preserve it, and the types of food that take well to freezing are endless.

For example, greens that are a bit too soft to be used in your favorite salad can be put in freezer-safe bags or containers and used at a later date in smoothies and other recipes.

An excess of herbs can be combined with olive oil and chopped garlic, then frozen in ice cube trays for a handy and delicious addition to sautés and other dishes.

You can freeze leftovers from meals, excess produce from your favorite farm stand, and bulk meals like soups and chilis. It’s a great way to ensure you always have a healthy, home-cooked meal available.

15. Understand Expiration Dates
“Sell by” and “expires on” are just two of the many confusing terms companies use on food labels to let consumers know when a product will most likely go bad.

The problem is, the US government doesn’t regulate these terms (16).

In fact, the task is often left to food producers to determine the date they think a product is most likely to spoil by. The truth is, most food that has just passed its expiration date is still safe to eat.

“Sell by” is used to inform retailers when the product should be sold or removed from the shelves. “Best by” is a suggested date that consumers should use their products by.

Neither of these terms means that the product is unsafe to eat after the given date.

While many of these labels are ambiguous, “use by” is the best one to follow. This term means that the food may not be at its best quality past the listed date (17).

A movement is now underway to make the food expiration labeling system more clear for consumers. In the meantime, use your best judgment when deciding whether food that is slightly past its expiration date is safe to eat.

16. Compost If You Can
Composting leftover food is a beneficial way to reuse food scraps, turning food waste into energy for plants.

While not everyone has room for an outdoor composting system, there’s a wide range of countertop composting systems that make this practice easy and accessible for everyone, even those with limited space.

An outdoor composter may work well for someone with a large garden, while a countertop composter is best for city dwellers with houseplants or small herb gardens.

17. Pack Your Lunch
Although going out to lunch with coworkers or grabbing a meal from your favorite restaurant may be enjoyable, it is also costly and can contribute to food waste.

A helpful way to save money while reducing your carbon footprint is to bring your lunch to work with you.

If you tend to generate leftovers from home-cooked meals, pack them up for a satisfying and healthy lunch for your workday.

If you’re strapped for time in the morning, try freezing your leftovers in portion-sized containers. That way, you’ll have premade, hearty lunches ready to go each morning.

18. Don’t Toss the Grounds
If you can’t fathom getting ready for your day without a hot cup of coffee, chances are you generate a lot of coffee grounds.

Interestingly, this often-overlooked leftover has many uses.

Those with a green thumb may be delighted to know that coffee grounds make excellent fertilizer for plants. The grounds are high in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which are nutrients that plants crave.

Coffee grounds also make a fantastic natural mosquito repellent.

In fact, research has shown that sprinkling spent coffee grounds in grassy areas deters female mosquitos from laying eggs, reducing the population of these pesky insects (18Trusted Source).

19. Get Creative in the Kitchen
One of the great things about cooking your own food is that you can tweak recipes to your liking, adding new flavors and ingredients.

Including parts of foods that aren’t usually used is an excellent way to repurpose scraps when you’re experimenting in the kitchen.

Stems and stalks make tasty additions to sautés and baked dishes, while garlic and onion ends can bring flavor to stocks and sauces.

Whipping up a fresh pesto made with broccoli stalks, soft tomatoes, wilted spinach or cilantro rather than the traditional basil is an inventive way to add a tasty twist to favorite dishes.

20. Pamper Yourself
If you want to save money while avoiding potentially harmful chemicals found in some skincare products, try preparing a scrub or mask at home.

Avocados are packed with healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamin E, which makes them a perfect addition to a natural face mask (19Trusted Source).

Combine overripe avocado with a bit of honey for a luxurious combination that can be used on the face or hair.

Mixing used coffee grounds with a bit of sugar and olive oil makes for an invigorating body scrub. You can also apply cool used tea bags or excess cucumber slices to your eyes to reduce puffiness.

The Bottom Line
There are endless ways you can reduce, reuse and recycle your food waste.

Not only will the practical tips in this article help you waste less food, they may save you money and time as well.

By thinking more about the food your household wastes every day, you can help create positive change to conserve some of the earth’s most valuable resources.

Even minimal changes to the way you shop, cook and consume food will help reduce your impact on the environment. It doesn’t have to be difficult.

With a small amount of effort, you can cut your food waste dramatically, save money and time, and help take some pressure off Mother Nature.

Meal Prep: Chicken and Veggie Mix and Match
Written by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD on November 20, 2017
19 Clever Ways to Eat Healthy on a Tight Budget
Nutritious food can be expensive, and it can be difficult to eat a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables when you’re on a tight budget.

The good news is, there are many ways you can save money and still eat whole foods. In fact, here are 19 tips that can help you eat healthier when you’re on a budget.

1. Plan your meals
When it comes to saving money at the grocery store, planning ahead is essential.

Pick 1 day each week and on that day, plan your meals for the upcoming week. Then, make a grocery list of everything you need to prepare those meals.

Make sure to also scan your fridge and cabinets to see what you already have. You may have foods hidden in the back that can be used, or you may want to plan your meals around foods you need to use before they expire.

Only plan to purchase what you know you’re going to use. This way, you won’t end up throwing away a lot of what you buy and don’t use.

Plan your meals for the week and make a grocery list. Only buy what you’re sure you will use, and check out what you already have in your cupboards first.

2. Stick to your grocery list
Once you’ve planned your meals and made your grocery list, stick to it.

It’s very easy to get sidetracked at the grocery store, which can lead to unintended purchases — and unintended expense.

As a general rule, try to shop the perimeter (the outer edges) of the store first. This is where whole foods are generally placed and will make you more likely to fill your cart with them first.

The middle of the store often contains the most processed foods. If you find yourself in these aisles, look to the top or bottom of the shelves, rather than straight ahead. The most expensive items are usually placed at eye level.

Additionally, you can download a grocery list app to help you shop. Some of them can even save favorite items or share lists between multiple shoppers.

Using an app is also a great way to make sure you don’t forget your list at home.

Stick to your grocery list when you’re shopping. Shop the perimeter of the store first, since this is where the whole foods are generally located.

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3. Cook at home
Cooking at home can be cheaper than dining out. Generally, you can feed a family of four for the same price as buying food for one or two people at a restaurant.

So, make it a habit to cook at home, rather than deciding to eat out at the last minute.

Some people find it best to cook for the entire week on the weekends, while others cook one meal each day.

By cooking for yourself, you also gain the benefit of knowing exactly what ingredients are in your meals.

Cooking at home can be much less expensive than eating out. Some find it best to cook for the entire week on weekends, while others like to cook one meal at a time.

4. Cook large portions and use your leftovers
Cooking large meals can save you both time and money.

Leftovers can be used for lunches or in other recipes. They can be reused in stews, stir-fries, salads and burritos.

It is great when you are on a budget because having leftovers can stop you from eating out on days when you don’t have time to cook a meal from scratch.

You can also freeze leftovers in single-portion sizes to enjoy at a later date.

Cook large meals from inexpensive ingredients, and use your leftovers during the following days.

5. Don’t shop when you’re hungry
If you go to the grocery store while hungry, you’re more likely to stray from your grocery list and buy something on impulse.

When you’re hungry, you may often reach for processed foods that have fewer beneficial nutrients than whole foods. And since these generally aren’t on your list, they’re not good for your budget, either.

Try to eat a piece of fruit, yogurt, or another nutritious snack before you go to the store, this way you won’t be hungry when you get there.

Shopping while hungry can lead to impulsive buying. If you’re hungry, have a snack before you go grocery shopping.

6. Buy whole foods
Some foods are more affordable in a less processed form. For example, a block of cheese is cheaper than shredded cheese, and canned beans are less expensive than refried ones.

Whole grains, like brown rice and oats, are also cheaper per serving than most processed cereals.

Less processed foods are also often sold in larger quantities and yield more servings per package, saving you money overall.

Whole foods are often less expensive than their processed counterparts. You can also buy them in larger quantities.

7. Buy generic brands
Most stores offer generic brands for nearly any product.

All food manufacturers have to follow standards to provide safe food. The generic brands may be the same quality as other national brands, just less expensive.

That said, read the ingredients list to make sure that you’re not getting a product of lower quality than the national brand or one that contains any unexpected added ingredients or allergens.

Most stores offer generic brands for many products. These are often of the same quality as more expensive national brands.

8. Avoid buying highly processed food
You might be surprised to see how much you’re paying for highly processed foods like soda, crackers, cookies, and prepackaged meals.

Despite the fact that they often lack beneficial nutrients and may be high in sodium or added sugar, they’re also very expensive.

By skipping processed foods, you can spend more of your budget on higher quality, nutrient-rich whole foods.

Avoid buying highly processed foods. Not only are they expensive, they often contain lots of sodium or sugar, with little to no nutritional value.

9. Stock up on sales
If you have favorite products or staples that you use frequently, you should stock up on them when they’re on sale.

If you’re sure that the item is something you’ll definitely use, you may as buy it now to save a little money later.

Just make sure that it will last for a while and won’t expire in the meantime. You won’t save you any money if you buy something you’ll just end up throwing out.

Stock up on staples and favorite products when they’re on sale. Just make sure that they won’t go bad in the meantime.

10. Buy cheaper cuts of meat
Fresh meat and fish can be quite expensive. However, you can get many cuts of meat that cost way less. Look for chuck steak, pork top sirloin steak, whole chicken, or ground meat or poultry.

These are great to use in burritos, casseroles, soups, stews and stir fries.

It may also be helpful to buy a large and inexpensive cut of meat to use in several different meals during the week.

Less expensive cuts of meat are great to use in casseroles, soups, stews, and burritos. These types of recipes usually make big meals and lots of leftovers.

11. Replace meat with other proteins
Eating less meat may be a good way to save money.

Try having a couple of days per week where you use other protein sources, such as legumes, hemp seeds, eggs, or canned fish.

These are all very inexpensive, nutritious, and easy to prepare. Most of them also have a long shelf life and are therefore less likely to spoil quickly.

Try replacing meat 1 or 2 times per week with beans, legumes, eggs or canned fish. These are all cheap and nutritious sources of protein.

12. Shop for produce that’s in season
Local produce that’s in season is generally cheaper than out-of-season options. It’s also usually at its peak in both nutrients and flavor.

Produce that’s not in season has often been transported from far away to get to your store, which isn’t good for either the environment or your budget.

For many people in the world, food waste has become a habit: buying more food than we need at markets, letting fruits and vegetables spoil at home or taking larger portions than we can eat.

These habits put extra strain on our natural resources and damage our environment. When we waste food, we waste the labour, effort, investment and precious resources (like water, seeds, feed, etc.) that go into producing it, not to mention the resources that go into transporting and processing it. In short, wasting food increases greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to climate change.

It’s a big problem. In fact, worldwide, tonnes of edible food are lost or wasted every day. Between harvest and retail alone, around 14 percent of all food produced globally is lost. Huge quantities of food are also wasted in retail or at the consumer level.

The part of food that is lost from harvest up to, but not including, the retail level is called food loss. The part wasted at the consumer or retail level is referred to as food waste. We make this distinction to address the root causes of this problem, a problem that everyone from farmers and producers to customers and shop-owners can help end.

Reducing food loss and waste is essential in a world where millions of people go hungry every day . When we reduce waste, we respect that food is not a given for the millions of people who go hungry every day.

It’s up to us to change our habits to make not wasting food a way of life!

Here are some easy actions you can take to re-connect to food and what it stands for:

1. Adopt a healthier, more sustainable diet

Life is fast-paced and preparing nutritious meals can be a challenge, but healthy meals don't have to be elaborate. The internet is full of quick healthy recipes that you can share with your family and friends

2. Buy only what you need

Plan your meals. Make a shopping list and stick to it, and avoid impulse buys. Not only will you waste less food, you’ll also save money!

3. Pick ugly fruit and vegetables

Don’t judge food by its appearance! Oddly-shaped or bruised fruits and vegetables are often thrown away because they don’t meet arbitrary cosmetic standards. Don’t worry - they taste the same! Use mature fruit for smoothies, juices and desserts.

4. Store food wisely

Move older products to the front of your cupboard or fridge and new ones to the back. Use airtight containers to keep open food fresh in the fridge and ensure packets are closed to stop insects from getting in.

5. Understand food labelling

There’s a big difference between “best before” and “use-by” dates. Sometimes food is still safe to eat after the “best before” date, whereas it’s the “use-by” date that tells you when it is no longer safe to eat. Check food labels for unhealthy ingredients such as trans fats and preservatives and avoid foods with added sugar or salt.

6. Start small

Take smaller portions at home or share large dishes at restaurants.

7. Love your leftovers

If you don’t eat everything you make, freeze it for later or use the leftovers as an ingredient in another meal.

Buying ugly fruits and vegetables or using leftovers for other meals are two good habits to avoid food loss and waste. Left/Top: © Smiallaan/shutterstock.com Right/Bottom: ©New Africa /shutterstock.com
8. Put your food waste to use

Instead of throwing away your food scraps, compost them. This way you are giving nutrients back to the soil and reducing your carbon footprint.

9. Respect food

Food connects us all. Re-connect with food by knowing the process that goes into making it. Read about food production and get to know your farmers.

10. Support local food producers

By buying local produce, you support family farmers and small businesses in your community. You also help fight pollution by reducing delivery distances for trucks and other vehicles.

11. Keep fish populations afloat

Eat fish species that are more abundant, such as mackerel or herring, rather than those that are at risk of being overfished, like cod or tuna. Buy fish that has been caught or farmed sustainably, such as eco-labelled or certified fish.

12. Use less water

We can’t produce food without water! While it’s important that farmers use less water to grow food, reducing food waste also saves all the water resources that went into producing it. Reduce your water intake in other ways too: fixing leaks or turning off the water while brushing your teeth!

13. Keep our soils and water clean

Some household waste is potentially hazardous and should never be thrown in a regular rubbish bin. Items such as batteries, paints, mobile phones, medicine, chemicals, fertilizers, tires, ink cartridges, etc. can seep into our soils and water supply, damaging the natural resources that produce our food.