HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) – As family and friends will gather around a turkey dinner this week, it’s estimated 35 percent of turkey purchased goes to waste.

According to the National Turkey Federation, 700 million pounds of turkey are consumed each year. The USDA says 35 percent of the meat purchased won’t get eaten.

One way to save food and money is to plan ahead. Know that with a meal like Thanksgiving, each person won’t eat a normal portion with so many options on the table. Be sure to dig through cabinets and use what is already there.

Next, don’t throw away vegetable tops and turkey bones. Instead, add them to a stew for nutrition and flavor. While enjoying dinner, have each guest scoop their own portion so overserving isn’t an issue.

After the meal, store food properly. According to the USDA, bacteria grows on food quickest after two hours it’s been left out, so eat, enjoy, and put it away before relaxing.

Have containers on hand for leftovers. Repurposing yogurt or cottage cheese containers is a great way to recycle. Another idea is to ask your guests to bring their own containers.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.