How Much Money You Actually Waste When You Throw Out Food

We recognize that food waste proves to be problematic on an ecological level, but it is also a fiscal issue. When you throw out food you are also essentially just throwing money away too. After a long enough period of time, all that wasted money adds up to a significant amount. People now about this too, but they are just unwilling to change. A recent survey of 2,000 people by hloom found that people believe food is the root of their financial waste. The graph below depicts the results of this survey.

People were most willing to cut back on wasteful spending from dinning out. Tossing out perished foods was first on the list of habits people waste money on, that they’re not prepared to change, and wasting their money on groceries was second on the list.

This makes you wonder how much money actually gets wasted when you throw out food? On average, people waste around 250 dollars a year by just throwing out old food. This doesn’t sound like very much now, but after five years this adds up to 1,250 dollars. You get the picture here; even small amounts of money add up over a period of time. It isn’t the most significant amount of money, but definitely still important.

The Chart above shows the averages for the amount of money different people waste when throwing out food.

Food waste is not equivalent throughout the United States, either. Different areas of the country are far guiltier of food waste than others. The survey discovered that states with people who dine out more frequently contribute to greater amounts of food waste. The states that waste the most are found in the East South Central part of the U.S..

What is the lesson to learn here? learn to cook more food at home and pay more attention to those all important expiration dates. If you cook more at home you can save a good amount of money and waste less food in general, both very good things.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “How Much Money You Actually Waste When You Throw Out Food

  1. amyquandt

    Did you read anything about why consumers are unwilling to reduce the amount of old food they throw away? What keeps people from not reducing food waste?

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  2. Kellen Merrigan

    This is a really interesting article. I find it fascinating that people are less willing to reduce their gambling, smoking and alcohol consumption than their food waste habits. These three things all have addictive properties while wasting food does not, which is certainly ironic. Perhaps it’s mere laziness?

    I also find it interesting the middle-class has the highest economical waste. I would’ve guessed the upper class would have the highest, and lower class would have the lowest, seeing as how money spent towards food is a larger percent of their income.

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  3. walkernewton

    I would bet the majority of people wasting the most food and the most money aren’t aware as they could be about it. Spreading information about food waste and using the economic argument for not wasting food could be a way to make people change their habits.

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  4. Looking at the second image, I found it extremely interesting that the biggest contributors to waste were women, millennials and middle class. I wonder if the environmental studies department were to take this survey what the results would be with a highly informed group. Do think posting this information in restaurants and grocery stores would have any impact on peoples consumption habit?

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