When I go grocery shopping, I often stock up on sale items, such as frozen vegetables, canned tomatoes and boxed pasta. I also like to treat myself in the produce aisle, buying fresh pineapple, carrots and melons, whatever is a good deal.

But to be honest, my husband and I usually don’t eat an entire bag of baby carrots or a whole cantaloupe, so I end up tossing the leftovers in the trash.

Earlier this winter, my husband defrosted our iced-over freezer, and we discovered more than three dozen bags of frozen vegetables hidden in the ice that I had obviously overbought.

Not only was it a reminder that I need to eat more vegetables, it also got me thinking about ways to reduce food waste at home.

Food waste is a growing problem not just in homes, but all along the food-production chain. About 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. ends up in a landfill, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. That’s about $165 billion worth of food that never gets eaten in the United States, a...