Americans Throw Out $190-Worth of Food Each Year

ABC's Amy Robach has some quick and easy ways to keep that money in your wallet.
3:14 | 01/29/13

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Transcript for Americans Throw Out $190-Worth of Food Each Year
And now, here is a new statistic for your life. Americans throw away enough food every year to fill 730 football stadiums. And to bring it home, every average home, every household throws out $190 worth of food every month. So, we decided to take a look at what we're all doing and why and abc's amy robach found some quick ways to put that real money back in the family wallet. Reporter: Meet rececca dickinson, a stay at home mom feeding a family of four. You guys want something to drink? Reporter: She makes breakfast, packs school lunches and cooks dinner for her two kids and husband jeff, who is a financial planner. What would you say your weekly food bill is? 300? All in? Yeah, give or take. Reporter: So you're looking at $1,200 to -- $1,400. Reporter:1,400, $1,500 a month. But how much of that monthly bill goes to waste? To find out we set up a real money experiment, following the dickinsons for an entire week, setting up cameras in their shopping cart, the refrigerator, the pantry, even weighing their trash. So, we brought in marcus samuelsson, celebrity chef and owner of new york city's red rooster restaurant, for a little kitchen confidential. If you ran your kitchen the way most of america does, what would happen to your business? We could be closed. Reporter: Marcus and i watched what our cameras caught on tape and saw leftovers like taco meat and stews, to unused spinach and vegetables, all thrown away. Now, here's a challenge. Throwing out produce. When we think food doesn't look fresh, it probably has a couple more days to go. Reporter: Because the use by date, the sell by date is different from the expiration date. Absolutely. Reporter: Which brings us to our first tip. Learn the lyingo. "Sell by" or "use by" doesn't mean "toss by." Often you can eat it up to seven days later. And when we arrive at the dickinson's -- Reporter: Hello, nice to see you. I'm amy. We found rebecca about to throw our squash soup we witnessed her making a week ago. Wow, that's a lot. Reporter: Same with the fish she made just a few days ago. I overestimated how much i was making. Sure, that hatches a lot. Reporter: Our next tip, plan your plate. Portions don't have to be supersized. A single serving of protein is just three ounces, the size of ck of cards. And tip number three, where you store your food matters. Zone your fridge. Anything that has liquid, put it further down. Reporter: The bottom is the coldest, where dairy, eggs and liquids should be kept. The top shelf and the doors tend to be warmer. So, what did our cameras find with our week with the dickins dickinsons? Don't feel bad.You threw out 13 pounds of food in a week. Oh, my god. Holy cow. All right. That's pretty ridiculous. Reporter: You are a finance guy. You know what that mns. It means money. Reporter: For this family, about 25% of the food budget goes in the trash. That's $350 a month. By cutting the waste, they can save more than $4,000 a year. And that's real money! Reporter: Amy robach, abc news, morristown, new jersey.

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