Don't Waste Food SC: Households

Households are responsible for between 40-50 percent of all the food waste generated nationwide – more than any other portion of the food chain. Each of us throws away an estimated 240 pounds of food per year – roughly 21 percent of the food each of us buys.

When we throw away food we also waste money – about $1,800 per year for a family of four as well as the labor, water, energy and fuel used to produce, package and move food from the farm to our plates.

Download: A Guide for Reducing Food Waste at Home

Quick tips to prevent & reduce food waste at home:

  1. Plan your meals. See what you have to use at home first. 
  2. Shop smart. Make a list, stick to it. Printable Shopping List
  3. Prep smart and store smart. Prepare perishable food soon after shopping or do meal prepping. Freeze items to keep fresh. Do the FIFO: first in, first out. Keep produce in its proper place. Fruit and Vegetable Storage Info
  4. Don’t fall for date labels. Food does not magically spoil on that date. Product Dating Info
  5. Love your leftovers. Ask for a doggie bag. Be creative to make new meals with leftovers. Get ideas from:, and
  6. Buy directly from local farmers. You'll get fresher food and keep your dollars in the community.  Where to Buy Local in SC
  7. Donate non-perishable items. One in eight South Carolinians is food insecure according to Feeding America. Feeding the Carolinas Foodbanks
  8. Compost. It involves a little effort and some equipment but can reduce the amount of waste you make, save you money and provide you with a valuable product. Composting Info

Other Helpful Resources: 

Hands holding tomatoes


Food Waste