How to save money on food and help the environment

Instead of tossing your food in a trash bin, start a compost pile

(CNN) – Food scraps add up fast. The EPA estimates 21 percent of waste in landfills and incinerators comes from food. The money you spent on that food could be considered trash too.

To help the environment and your wallet, shop smart. Before going to the grocery store, check out what’s in your refrigerator. Cook or eat what you have before you buy more.

Make a shopping list and plan menus. Buying in bulk can help you save money, but only if you use what you buy. Before produce goes bad, freeze it.

Be mindful at restaurants. Only order portions you can realistically eat, and take home your leftovers.

Going down the buffet line? Limit what you put on your plate the first time around. You can always go back for seconds.

Before you clean out your pantry, think about donating untouched non-perishable food. That can help a food pantry keep its shelves stocked.

Instead of tossing your food in a trash bin, start a compost pile. Those scraps, skins, peels, and grounds can decompose into rich soil, which is great for your garden. These are simple steps to reduce your food waste and improve the environment’s bottom line and yours too.