Take a moment and think about your grocery list last week and ask yourself “Did I stay within my budget?” Maybe yes, maybe no. Now think about last weekend when you did your household chores and cleaned the kitchen. Did you throw out food from the refrigerator and pantry? If the answer is yes then you’re probably wasting food.
I don’t know about you but I hate throwing things out. I’m not a crazy hoarder or anything, I just don’t like wasting things because at the end of the day wasting food is wasting money and I hate throwing away money. So the next time you go to the grocery store and want to buy something that’s not on your list ask yourself “How much money does wasted food really cost?”
According to The Huffington Post Americans waste “around $165 Billion annually” on food. Now that’s a lot of money. But this nasty habit stops today, right here, right now.
Here are five ways to help you stop wasting money on food:
Shop more frequently
When you only buy food for the week the odds are you won’t throw out anything. Buy enough for three meals a day seven days a week and forget all the impulse purchases, cravings and sale items. If you don’t need it to cook a meal then don’t buy it.
When you shop weekly the odds are you will actually under buy your food and therefore you’ll be forced to dig into items that you already have in your fridge or pantry. So not only are you not wasting any food, you’re also depleting your current supply and that equal less waste.
Buy smaller quantities
Don’t over purchase quantities of items, if you only need four tomatoes then only buy four tomatoes. I know a lot of people advocate buying in bulk because it brings down the cost per unit. However if you end up throwing out your produce it’s still a waste of money. Buy only what you need to help avoid throwing away your hard earned money.
The only things I ever buy in bulk are household items like paper towels, toilet paper, toothpaste and cleaning supplies. I use these items on a daily basis and therefore they never go to waste. They also never expire or go bad so that’s always a plus.
Make a list and only buy what you need
The best way to avoid overspending and overbuying is to plan ahead of time and make a list of everything you’re going to buy. If it’s not planned for a meal a.k.a. if it’s not on your list then it doesn’t go into your shopping cart. It’s as simple as that.
I also only like to buy quantities that I can carry home. This way I save on delivery fees and there’s no chance of me overspending because even if I bought it I wouldn’t be able to carry it home.
Eat your leftovers
If you make dinner then take the leftovers for lunch the next day. It saves money on the costs of eating out and it prevents waste at home. If you’re like me you really have to be in the mood to eat something, so when cooking in large quantities make sure it’s a meal you really love so you’ll want to eat it the next day and not waste it.