Moldy bread, sour milk, and wilted veggies — these are all common outcomes of buying too much food. Reduce food waste at home and save money by following our easy, simple tips on how to shop to reduce food waste.

Before you head to the store…

  • Shop your kitchen. Inventory which food items you already have in the refrigerator and pantry to avoid buying duplicates. 
  • Make a list. What meals or dishes do you plan to make this week? Identify which ingredients you will need and add them to the list. 
  • Eat a snack or meal. Avoid grocery shopping when hungry as you are more susceptible to impulse purchases and over-buying. 

Once at the store…

  • Think realistically about items on sale, such as “10 for $5”.  Will you be able to consume ten? If not, you could end up with food waste, which results in money wasted. 
  • Control quantity. To have better control of quantity when purchasing produce items, opt for unpackaged fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Learn more at, and pick up your free Love Food, Fight Waste refrigerator magnet today at either the City Hall front desk, 410 E Washington Street, or at Table to Table, Pepperwood Plaza, 1049 US-6 E.

Why are we talking about food waste?

When food is wasted, it wastes all the resources that went into growing, manufacturing, distributing, and transporting that food, too. On a local level, landfilled food waste produces methane, which contributes to climate change. One of the best things each of us can do to take climate action is reduce food waste.

Love Food, Fight Waste is a collaboration between Table to Table and the City of Iowa City. 

Questions? Reach out to Jane Wilch, City of Iowa City Recycling Coordinator, at 319-887-6110 or, or Nicki Ross, Table to Table Executive Director, at 319-337-3400 or

Date of publication

Tuesday, July 05, 2022