Here's How Much Money You're Wasting When You Toss Out Food

And the more money you're needlessly throwing away.

We know that food waste is a problem on an ecological level, but it is also an economic issue. When you throw food away you’re tossing out money, too. After a period of time, all that wasted money adds up to serious bucks. And people know it, too. But that doesn’t mean they’re willing to change.

A recent survey of 2,000 people by hloom found that people believe food is the root of their financial waste. Here’s where folks think most of their money is being spent.

Money waste chart.
Money waste chart.

Of all the things people spend money on that they’re willing to cut back on, dining out topped the charts. Of the ways folks waste money that they’re not willing to change, throwing out expired foods was number one (and wasting bucks on groceries was number two).

So how much money actually gets wasted when we throw out food? They found that out, too. On average, about $250 dollars gets thrown out a year. That might not be enough to pay the rent, but it’s still significant.

Food waste chart.
Food waste chart.

Food waste is not equal across the country, either. Some states are far guiltier of it than others. The survey found that the states that dine out more often are also the ones to contribute more to food waste. New Englanders who feel least like they waste money on dining out also waste significantly less food at home and on groceries. The states that waste the most are found in the East South Central part of the U.S.

What’s the take away? Learn what those dates on food really mean, start cooking more at home, and save some money ― no matter what part of the country you live in.