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Demographics & Statistics Awareness Behavior Diet

The Average Person Wastes $3,000 In Groceries Annually

11 months, 3 weeks ago

7056  0
Posted on Apr 28, 2023, 4 p.m.

According to a recent random double opt-in survey of 2,000 general population American adults commissioned by HelloFresh and conducted by OnePoll, the average person wastes nearly $3,000 on unused groceries every year.

Your earnings are being drained by a number of things and groceries are one of those things on that list. Shopping wisely is something that we all should do, especially if we don’t want to waste our hard-earned money and food. 

This research found that on average those who do the grocery shopping for their household spend around $250 a week on food, with 1 in 10 respondents reporting that they spend upwards of $500 a week, and of that people generally end up throwing away around $63 worth of weekly groceries. 

So just how is this food being wasted you may ask, the respondents reported that when they cook over one-quarter of them always cook too much or often make more food than they are able to finish, typically with the intention of having leftovers according to 83% of the respondents. On average the respondents reported putting leftovers into their fridges at least 3 times a week, however, most often they do not actually get around to using them, with one-third (32%) of the respondents reporting that they are likely to forget about the leftovers once they are out of sight. 

40% report throwing out food because they just don’t feel like eating it, 35% report having to throw it out because they forget about it, and 23% of the respondents said that their family members are not very interested in leftovers. Overall 43% of the respondents reported that they prefer to eat all of the leftovers, but 24% of the respondents admit that they are just tired of eating the same thing until all of the leftovers are finished. 

“With inflation contributing to record high food costs, wasting groceries each week hurts both the environment and consumers’ wallets,” says the senior director of sustainability at HelloFresh, Jeffrey Yorzyk, in a statement. “Families cook with the best intention of using their leftovers, but our research shows that they are generally not consuming all of those leftovers. Getting creative with the food in your fridge can help families feel like they’re eating something new and exciting!”

It also appears that our eyes may be more interested in food than our stomachs as 38% of the respondents admit that they have thrown food away that they were interested in while at the grocery store but no longer felt like eating it after purchasing it. 19% of respondents report that they overestimate how much food they will use, 23% report purchasing at least 5 food items a week that they wish was available in smaller quantities, and 22% are not confident about how to store food items to maximize freshness. 

27% of the respondents say that lettuce is the hardest food to use up before it goes bad, 23% report having a hard time using up bananas before they have to throw them out, and 21% report that they end up throwing away milk because it goes bad before they finish it. 35% of all respondents said that they throw away more food than they care to and 73% of all respondents report that they have strong feelings of guilt when they have to throw food items away. 

7 in 10 respondents are actively trying to cut down on the amount of food that they waste with 60% doing it in hopes of saving money, 52% are doing it just to be less wasteful, and 26% are doing it to try to increase food availability to those who need it. When it comes to cutting down food waste, 55% are being more creative when using leftovers, 37% are creating meal plans, and 17% have started composting. 

“We’re inspired by the fact that 70 percent of individuals care about food waste,” says Yorzyk. “Cooking with meal kits which provide pre-portioned ingredients, composting food waste and using ‘ugly’ produce are great ways to help you cut back on waste and contribute to a more sustainable future.”

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.

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