FIFO aka Don't Waste Food

This post is the second in a series about about food, grocery shopping, cooking, and good home cook kitchen habits. I'm learning as I go. Please weigh in with your secrets, tips, and tricks. There is always something new to learn in the kitchen!


My brother works in the restaurant business, and he told me about this neat little saying - first in first out - FIFO, pronounced fye foe.

It means use the food you bought first, the food that's soon to expire or go bad.

Wasting food hurts my feelings. It's like throwing money in trash! No, thank you.

We waste a whole lot less food in our house when I practice FIFO.

It works great the day or so before you go to the store and you want use up all the little bits and pieces of food you have leftover.

Pictured above is my kids after school snack, FIFO style - black olives, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, pineapple, and clementines that were all on the brink of going bad. They also ate some fresh mozzarella cheese that I had no plans for in my meal plan this week.

FIFO works best when a family has made peace with their picky eating issues because you are eating the food that needs to be eaten versus the food you feel like eating in the heat of the moment.


Y'all all know my favorite book about kids and picky eating. I think I've mentioned it before.......

French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon


Cook Once, Eat Twice


  1. I love it! I have tried to explain this concept before to my family, but I need this catchy word because they tend to tune me out when I go into a long explanation. I also am quick to freeze food that seems to be lingering - I keep a roll of freezer tape and a Sharpie in a kitchen drawer to label the odds and ends that collect in the freezer.

  2. It's think the restaraunt industry borrowed the term from economics.

    I have a smaller than average fridge. Surprisingly I waste less food as less things
    disappear into the back recesses of the fridge.
    I have learned that weeks when I buy lunch meat for my son and husband, I buy it on a Sunday or Monday at the latest. If not, it goes bad as we don't eat it over the weekend. We eat the
    Most perishable fruit first ( pears, bananas), then oranges/ tangerines next, knowing that apples can stay fresh longer than the others (so I don't push them the first few days after my grocery shopping trip)

    Kim from Phila

  3. At least one night of my meal planning includes what I call "snack dinner" It's a good way to clean out the fridge before I head back to the grocery store. We tend to waste deli meat the most, so I have started only buying half of what I normally would. It usually is always eaten, and they are asking for more. But it prevents the waste :)

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