A few simple changes before or after heading to the grocery store could save you money and help save the planet.

On Monday night, dozens enjoyed a farm-to-table zero waste dinner. Conversation focused on where food comes from and where it goes if we don’t eat it. According to the USDA, 30-40 percent of food is wasted.

"It gives us a way to think differently about it,” said Mark Pawliw, the owner of Farm to Fork 101. “It gets people on the radar of how they can waste less."

Five farmers partnered with five chefs to provide five courses for the meal. For Grey Barn Farms, it's an opportunity to use everything they grow.

"Whether its beets that don't have good looking tops — a lot of restaurants use the tops for various things — or carrots that maybe have two legs, still usable just not desirable," said Dan Button, the owner of Grey Barn Farms.

Some food is lost after the farming process, too. According to the USDA, about a third of the food we buy is wasted. That equates to buying three bags of groceries and leaving one at the store.

"Make sure that you're double checking your refrigerator and pantry before you go shopping,” said Jesse Kerns, Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions Program Coordinator. “And make sure to make a list, too. That's super important so you know exactly what it is that you need and you're overbuying and you don't wind up with something at the end of the week that you don't know what to do with.”

If you do wind up with extra food, officials recommend donating it or composting your scraps.

The USDA says the food we waste costs more than $160 million a year.