Moving Food 101: Tips to Reduce Food Waste

If you’re like most people who are relocating, the thought of packing up the kitchen strikes at least a little dread into your heart. It’s easy to understand why; you’ve got to deal with cupboards packed with pans and pots, drawers full of cooking and baking tools, and shelves of breakable glasses and plates.

But that’s not all — after the fragile, bulky, and oddly shaped items are securely packed, you still have to deal with pantry shelves, freezer, and refrigerator — full of food. After all, you don’t want to waste.

These tips will help you pack up your pantry and move with a minimum of food waste.

Take Stock

About a month before moving day, take inventory. Go through your pantry, freezer and fridge organize your stores into the following categories:

  • Frozen meats, vegetables, and fruits
  • Perishable refrigerated items
  • Pantry items in glass jars and bottles
  • Pantry items in boxes
  • Canned goods
  • Food in delicate packagings, such as paper bags of flour or rice

Note the expiration dates of perishable items.

Create a Meal Plan

Now that you know what you have and how long it’ll be edible create a meal plan. Your goal? To use up as much of the food you have, as soon as possible, before moving day.

Begin with perishable items, starting from the nearest expiration date and working back. Your meals should focus on foods that will go bad before or not long after the move, as well as depleting the contents of your freezer.

Using these items will save you money on eating out. You’ll also reduce food waste, as the more you eat now, the less you’ll have to discard on moving day.

You may have to think outside the box, so don’t be afraid to get creative with your meal planning! Luckily, there are ways to plan and make tasty meals using pantry staples.

Before Moving Day

As moving day draws closer, it’s likely that you’re still going to have food left. Now comes the difficult decision: To move or not to move? Professional movers have restrictions on what they can move for you, so make sure you are clear on what they prohibit. Check to see if your mover participates in a Move for Hunger program to which you can donate your food. These programs seek to reduce food waste and reduce hunger for those in need.

Don’t plan to move the food from your fridge or freezer unless you’re moving a short distance or have a large, well-insulated cooler. Instead, give this food to family, friends, or neighbors. The same goes for anything in glass bottles. While it’s possible to pack them carefully, they’re also at risk of breaking and making a huge mess. Just one broken bottle of oil, vinegar, or pasta sauce can create a lot of clean-up. Consider donating anything in glass bottles or jars.

Of course, you can also choose to donate canned and un-opened boxed foodstuffs to charity. If you do plan on bringing it with you in your own vehicle, pack smart:

  • Use small boxes or plastic containers with lids
  • Place large, heavy items (such as jars of peanut butter and cans) on the bottom
  • Place lighter items on top
  • Decant bagged foods (like flour, sugar, or rice) into sealed containers before packing

No one likes to waste food. By organizing and planning meals in advance, you can eliminate food waste when you move.

On the Move

Are you planning your move? Contact us for a free quote. We can help with a successful relocation.