Toni Husbands blog, Debt Free Diva, has tons of great ideas and tools to help you save money and stay out of debt.
A new documentary caught my attention as documentaries generally do. We’re throwing money away. This time via food waste.
I’ll admit it. I have this problem after grocery shopping. Some items don’t actually make it into meals and end up in the garbage. Generally produce risks this fate in my house. I know better with meat. Freeze it immediately.
I’ve even conspired to chop up my less frequently used veggies, bag and freeze them until needed. Somehow that always ends up being a task for tomorrow.
A few cents lost on peppers or a squash down the tube really adds up. According to Just Eat It, we’re throwing away $1500 in food waste per year.
That’s just the average.
One-fourth of the food we bring home ends up in a landfill. The example given was consider walking to your car with four bags, one bag falls, and you just keep going. That’s how much food and money we’re throwing away.
So what does this mean for those digging out of debt? I strongly believe that making Meals @ Home is the way to go. However, extending your food budget even further can be achieved by eliminating – or at least significantly reducing – food waste.
As any good exposure piece does, the documentary left us with great tips for addressing food waste in our homes.
1. Freeze more. Simple enough…right? Even if I do this the next day (grocery shopping tuckers me out), prepping and freezing veggies and some fruits can extend the length of time between restocking. Half an hour tops and I can have strawberry smoothies a few more days in the week. Buying frozen veggies will also help.
2. Shop more frequently. Buy less items that will spoil in between shopping trips. We generally shop weekly on the way home from church to combine the energy for outings and gas. It’s working so I’ll keep it up.
3. Meal plan. Start with items you already have at home. Since grocery shopping is not my favorite thing to do, I don’t mind cabinets being fairly bare before I head that way again. How to Menu Plan to Save Money
4. Create an Eat Me First Bin. A novel idea to corral food items that are heading towards expiration. Often items spoil in the crisper because I did not bend down. However with more frequent shopping trips and smaller hauls, food has less chance to hide in the fridge.
5. Shop farmer’s markets. Now this is something I have not spent a ton of time doing. Sadly, I lived within walking distance from one for 10 years every summer. The interesting part is veggies can last longer from farmers markets because they are picked closer to the time you buy them. Unlike super chains, relocating produce from around the world, your farmer’s market grower is likely to be local.
Find a local farmer’s market in your area here: LocalHarvest.org.
Small changes can really add up to a huge savings without making a huge impact on your regular routine. How do you prevent food waste?
Mary Elizabeth Tait
Sunday 30th of August 2015
I hate to waste food and, thankfully, my family is happy to reheat leftovers for lunch. 1. Have a few meal ideas to use leftovers. We like stir fried rice, and fritattas which can really stretch the food and use up bits and pieces in the fridge. 2. Toast the ends of bread and spread with peanut butter, or broil with cheese for afternoon snacks. 3.Slice up the veggies that look a little tired, toss with olive oil and roast in the oven. 4. Understand use by dates.....expiration dates, etc. Those dates don't necessarily mean toss.
Friday 22nd of May 2015
I've just starting making menu plans and arrange which things can get used up that way. I got sick of throwing so much food away. It hasn't solved the whole problem, but it helps.
Toni @ Debt Free Divas
Friday 22nd of May 2015
I think it's probably going to take a combination of changes. Every little bit helps indeed. I'm like you - I've really tired of throwing away food (& thus money).