Save Money On Groceries: Reduce Food Waste

Save Money On Groceries: Reduce Food Waste

Couponing. Nixing organic food. Cutting meat out of the diet. People will go to extremes in order to save money on the grocery budget. But few people talk about the obvious: cutting back on food waste. (This post is a part of Simple Lives Thursday.)

Think about it: you spent so much on that tender cut of beef, those succulent nectarines, the crisp Romaine lettuce. Forgetting about any such items in the refrigerator can cost you upwards of $10 per month or more. That may not sound like much if your food budget is well over $200 per month, but if you consider the fact the money you saved on groceries via coupons last month came out to around $15 or so, you realize that to reduce food waste would double the money you could have saved.

You don’t have to let that last handful of strawberries turn into a mound of white fuzz, or let the last three slices of bread turn blue.There are several ways to make sure that food going bad in the refrigerator becomes something that happens to other people, and not to you. Here are a few ideas.

1. Grow it yourself.

When you can go out in your backyard and harvest things fresh – and then, just the amount you need for the upcoming meal or snack – you will end up with little to no leftovers. You will also eat food that is much more nutritious than you can buy even in the best health food stores.

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2. Buy produce as you need it.

I buy my fresh fruits and vegetables no less often than once a week, often twice (and of course, this is foodstuff I am not growing in my garden for whatever reason 😉 ).

3. Preserve food.

Save Money On Groceries: Reduce Food Waste

Turn milk into kefir and/or yogurt. Dehydrate ripe bananas. Freeze berries when they have been in the refrigerator for two days. Lacto-ferment vegetables. As soon as you bring a loaf of bread home, freeze half of it.

4. Eat leftovers the next day.

I read a blog post where someone commented on their system for avoiding food waste. They have a tray or basket at the front of their refrigerator where they put leftovers from dinner. The next day, they combine whatever is there with other things to round off a meal in order to create their breakfasts and lunches.

5. Keep a running list on the front of your refrigerator.

A lot of people do this for their deep freezes; why not do it for the refrigerator inventory, too? Well, because if there are more than two people over the age of four living in your house they are not necessarily going to mark something off when they take it out of the refrigerator.

Nevertheless, it still might help some families to reduce food waste. Just thought I’d throw it out there. 🙂

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Food waste doesn’t have to be a weekly, or even monthly, occurrence in your house. These ideas might just turn out to be one of your regular ways to save money. To get even more help with getting your money to behave, make sure you check out my low-cost, high-return e-book, Weird Finances: How to go from broke to financially independent in ten years.