Arizonans waste $944 of food yearly due to label confusion, survey says

Dec 18, 2018, 4:25 AM

(Pixabay Photo)...

(Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — The average Arizona household wastes $944 worth of food each year because it has gone past its expiration date, according to a survey conducted by a home remodeling firm.

Klein Kitchen & Bath asked 3,200 households how much food they throw away each month and compared it to government data on grocery spending.

The firm found that South Carolina households wasted the most at about $1,305 each year, while those in West Virginia wasted the least at about $405 each year.

Misunderstanding food labeling seemed to be a big factor in food waste, the firm said.

About half of respondents said they wouldn’t eat food past its sell-by date, even though that label only means it’s the last day it can be sold in a store.

The firm also found people were confused about the meaning of use-by and best-by dates, often getting them mixed up.

Many respondents said date labels should be removed from fruits and vegetables since it’s easy to tell if they’ve gone bad by touching or smelling them.

Respondents were most likely to throw away dairy products, followed by meat, fish, bread and vegetables.

The firm said people in all states can cut down on waste by freezing foods before their use-by date, extending herbs’ shelf life by placing them in water and using nearly expired yogurts and fruits in smoothies.

Good practices include using all parts of vegetables, including peels and stems, and donating foods that won’t be used.

“It seems we need to educate ourselves a little better on what we can eat and when,” Eric Klein from Klein Bath & Kitchen said in a press release.

“Just being familiar with the difference between, say, sell-by dates and use-by dates can help us be less wasteful.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Mugshot of Jill Houchens, who was arrested Feb. 19, 2024, on 146 counts of animal abuse and neglect...

Arizona woman arrested on nearly 150 animal abuse and neglect charges

An Arizona woman faces nearly 150 charges after more than 20 animals, including five that were dead, were removed from her property earlier this month, authorities said.

3 minutes ago

Sun at high noon over a prison....

SuElen Rivera

Man sentenced to over 5 years for coordinating drug smuggling into Arizona

A man was sentenced last week to over five years in prison for his role in coordinating drug smuggling into Arizona, authorities said.

1 hour ago

Blurry photo of an ambulance with lights on at night...

1 teenager killed, another seriously injured in rollover collision in Phoenix

One teenager was killed and another was seriously injured in a rollover collision in northwest Phoenix early Sunday, authorities said.

3 hours ago

Mesa man smiles for picture!...

Silver Alert issued for Mesa man with cognitive disability

A silver alert was issued Sunday night for a Mesa man with a cognitive disability last seen in Mesa, authorities said.

4 hours ago

The Grand Canyon Railway returns on March 2. (Grand Canyon Railway)...

David Veenstra

Grand Canyon Railway to run train pulled by steam engine on select dates this year

The Grand Canyon Railway resumes operations this weekend, offering departures every first Saturday of the month through October.

5 hours ago

Downtown Chandler BBQ festival 2024...

Serena O'Sullivan

Downtown Chandler BBQ Festival bringing beer, music, games, smoked meats this weekend

Whiskey, beer, live music and games are in store for the Downtown Chandler BBQ Festival at the Dr. A.J. Chandler Park East on March 2 and 3.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Arizonans waste $944 of food yearly due to label confusion, survey says