Want an easy way to shave $2,300 off your annual budget? Stop throwing away so much food.

According to a new study, almost half of the food Americans buy every year winds up in the trash — a 50 percent increase since the 1970s.

Exactly how much food are we talking about? Well, Americans waste about $165 million each year.

Unsold produce in grocery stores accounts for a lot of the wasted food, and restaurants that serve ginormous portions that most people can’t eat get some of the blame, too.

“As a country, we’re essentially tossing every other piece of food that crosses our path. That’s money and precious resources down the drain,” said Dana Gunders, a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s food and agriculture program.

The NRDC’s report also says reducing the waste by just 15 percent would save enough of the US food supply to feed 25 million Americans every year, and would also substantially ease the burden on landfills.

The group now wants the US government to study losses in the food system and set goals for waste reduction, with Gunders saying, “No matter how sustainably our food is farmed, if it’s not being eaten, it is not a good use of resources.”

[Reuters]