5 ways to trim food waste at home - Grand Central Bakery

Grand Central Bakery

Portland Locations

Seattle Locations

5 ways to trim food waste at home

Extend the life of lettuce by washing it and storing in a lidded container in the fridge with a paper towel.


  1. Throwing out food feels bad. 😟⁠
  2. It’s bad for your wallet. 💸⁠
  3. It’s really bad for the planet. 🌎🌡⁠

True for all 3, right?⁠

Globally, wasted food accounts for about 8 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions (that’s a lot!). That’s according to the book Drawdown.

At our bakeries we’re making progress; in 2019 we were able to divert 94% of our food waste from the waste stream. And we know we can do better.

Want to get a better handle on it at home?

Check out our 🖐5 favorite habits that curb food waste.

1. Improve produce management

✔️ Make a list of what’s in your crisper drawer once a week and tape it to the fridge.

✔️ After a trip to the farmers market, separate green leafy tops from root vegetables (such as turnips or beets); wrap greens in a damp towel and store beets free in crisper.

✔️ Process sturdy greens (kale, chard, beet greens) when you bring them home by sauteing or blanching. You’ll be more likely to use them later (for grain bowls, scrambles, tacos, pasta, or as a side).

✔️  Clean head lettuce after purchasing and store in a reusable container.

✔️ Start a “use first” produce bin to keep track of perishables.

Clean head lettuce (invest in a salad spinner) after bringing it home and store in a plastic container with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.

✔️ Keep herbs fresh longer by removing from bags and either wrapping in damp paper towels or sticking in jelly jars with a little water, like a bouquet.

2. Avoid overbuying

✔️ Make a weekly shopping list based on how many meals you’ll eat at home. Include quantities with each item.


✔️ Attention Costco shopppers! Only buy in bulk if you are able to use the food before it spoils; it’s not a good deal if you’re throwing part of it away.

✔️ Store condiments on the door, where you’re less likely to miss them and buy more.


3. Repurpose stale bread

✔️ Cube up day-old bread and make a batch of croutons; store in freezer.

✔️ Make bread crumbs by buzzing stale bread pieces in a food processor or blender; use in meatloaf or as breading for cutlets or crispy baked or fried veggies.

✔️ Freeze bread ends, pieces, and leftover slices in a zip-top bag to use later, or make croutons or bread crumbs.

✔️ Use leftover bread to make Bread Pudding Muffins (our fave!),   Panzanella, or a savory casserole called strata.

4. Love your leftovers

✔️ Label leftovers before refrigerating (including sauces and marinades); keep a Sharpie and masking tape handy to get in the habit. Freeze in what you don’t think you will eat within a few days.

✔️ Keep leftovers on high shelves of fridge where you are most likely to spot them.

✔️ Use up leftovers (rice, noodles, cooked vegetables, etc.) or tired produce by adding to soups, stir-fries or frittatas.


5. Befriend your freezer

✔️ Freeze leftovers that you know you won’t be able to eat in time (remember to label them!).

✔️ Freeze ripe fruit to use later for smoothies or baking (whole bananas can be frozen unpeeled).

✔️ Freeze nuts and seeds, flour and grains to preserve freshness and guard from pantry pests.

✔️ Freeze components of dishes such as whole baked chicken breasts and cooked ground beef for tacos to thaw and reuse later.

✔️ Got leftover tomato paste or sauce? Freeze unused portions; tomato paste can be scooped onto a sheet of waxed paper and frozen in 1- to 2- tablespoon amounts then stored in a zip-top bag.

Got an idea to share? Visit our Instagram or Facebook page and leave a comment!