According to a recent article in Prevention Magazine, the average family of four throws out nearly 122 pounds of food per month. There are easy things each of us can do to reduce that statistic.

Pay attention to dates. Try to purchase food before the sell-by date. Several types of foods remain perfectly safe as long as a week (or even a month) past their sell-by date when stored properly, which is 40F or below.

Milk is good 1 week past sell-by date. Store it on a shelf pushed far back, where the air is coldest. Eggs are good 3-4 weeks past sell-by date. Store in their original container on a refrigerator shelf rather than on the door, where eggs are vulnerable to temperature fluctuations. Hard cheese (once opened) is good 2-4 months past sell-by date. Wrap in moisture-proof foil; if the outside of hard cheese has visible mold, trim off the mold and a 1/2-inch area of cheese below it. Yogurt is good 10-14 days past sell-by date. Yogurt is best stored at around 39F. Lunchmeat (sealed) is good 3-5 days past sell-by date. Store meat in the meat compartment or an airtight container. Of course, always rely on your own senses--sight, smell, and touch--for signs of spoilage, and when in doubt, throw it into the compost bin. Food in your freezer can keep up to 5 years (depending on what it is) as long as it was originally frozen fresh. Store onions and potatoes (preferably hanging up) in a dry area of your kitchen at room temperature. Keep all dry goods sealed in your pantry for a longer shelf life. Rubbermaid or Tupperware containers with labels are a good way to store dry goods because they are clear, easy to wash and have lids which create an airtight seal.