Dana Gunders, author of the book “Waste Free Kitchen Handbook” and “Wasted,” a 2012 report from the Natural Resources Defense Council that sparked attention to the crisis in America’s kitchens, has some suggestions. (Read our special report on food waste, "Spoiler Alert: You're Wasting 1 in 4 Bags of Groceries.")

Know yourself. Track what you throw out and why, then adjust your shopping and cooking habits accordingly.

Shop with a list. And be sure you’ve planned on when you’ll make those meals. “People are aspirational at the store,” Gunders says. “But think, when will you have time to cook what you buy?”

Use every last bit. When trimming veggies, remove just the very ends or the stem. Put greens such as beet greens in salads or cook them just as you would collard and other greens. Make stock out of vegetable scraps and bits and pieces of meat or poultry.

Plan a catch-up meal. Pick one night a week when you’ll eat the food that’s already in your fridge. Place whatever needs to be eaten first in the front to keep it top of mind.

Mix it up. Don’t be afraid to experiment with eclectic ingredients. Got an open jar of salsa and some extra chicken broth? Gunders recently turned that combo into the base for a tortilla soup.

Befriend your freezer. Gunders says some unexpected foods do well in the freezer—including milk, bread, cheese, and raw eggs if you crack and beat them lightly first. You can freeze most vegetables after blanching them, too.

Plan your parties. Most partygoers won’t eat a full portion of every dish, so when you entertain, cook for just three-fourths the number of guests you expect. Keep storage containers on hand so that you can send anyleftovers home with your friends.

Share the bounty. Home gardeners who can’t eat everything that they grow can find a food pantry eager to accept their garden-­fresh extra produce at ampleharvest.org.

Freezing vegetables and a grocery list can cut food waste

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the September 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.