Save money on your food bill by eliminating waste
Did you know, in the UK we waste 7 million tonnes of food a year? That’s equivalent to 1 million elephants! Food waste costs the UK average family roughly £60 a month. I’ve done some research and come up with a few ways for you to save money on food by merely creating less waste.
The most common ways we all waste food are
- Not planning our shopping
- Buy too much food
- Don’t understand dates on packaging
- Let food go out of date
- Don’t measure portions, so we cook too much
- Don’t store food correctly
How to reduce your waste and save money on food
- Plan your meals
- Write a list
- If you buy too much food freeze it
- Never shop when you’re hungry!
- Store food in the fridge correctly. Set the temperature to 5 °c
- Keep track of what you throw away. Keep a rough total of the cost of each item you bin to find out how much money you waste. Doing this should make you feel suitably guilty!
Another source of confusion when it comes to deciding whether or not to your bin food are the date labels.
What do the date labels really mean?
Best before – This means the food is best before the printed date but is still safe to eat afterwards. That slightly stale bread lurking in the cupboard is always good for toast!
Use by – Food MUST be eaten by the date, even if it looks ok and smells fine. Food past the use by date is not safe. If you barf its gross and its still waste!
Display until – Ignore these they’re just for the shop staff!
Even the smallest change to how you deal with food can have a significant impact on reducing the amount of food and ultimately, the money you waste.
The most practical way you can save money on food is to plan meals and write a shopping list
Planning your meals and writing a shopping list will help you stay focused, save you time and money in the store. Providing you are disciplined enough to stick to it of course.
I absolutely loathe going food shopping in a store; it really is one of the most mundane chores ever. Not to mention the amount of thinking and ‘people-ing’ it involves.
If you have social anxiety like me, you will get that!
For me going to the shops without a list is absolute brain carnage. I wander around the store aimlessly picking up half the ingredients for a meal I won’t actually make.
Then, I spend a small fortune on junk and ultimately, takeaways. Consequently, this results in me chucking out the entire contents of the fridge eventually.
I hate the fact I waste so much money and food, without even mentioning how unhealthy I feel eating takeaways all the time.
Organising your shopping list for speed
I started writing lists on scraps of paper, like “normal” people! But for my anxious brain, shopping this way is so disorganised and takes way too much time for my liking. Hence, I created myself an organised list, categorising products, so I didn’t have to waste my time walking up and down the store a billion times.
It didn’t take me long to realise that I could just make a printable version that would save me having to rewrite all of my categories all the time. Plus it looks prettier too.
Call me crazy, (a lot of people do!) but it works. I’ve managed to save money on food and the time I spend in the store, Excellent! Grab your copy in the toolbox if you like!
Bring allows you to create and even share your shopping lists with friends and family. You can add photos to your lists to make sure you get the right brand. There is an inspiration section to discover new recipes, and you can add all the ingredients with the push of a button!
Everything in the app is graphics so no need to type anything in just pick what you want from the display and voila it’s on your list!
To sum it all up and save you some cash
- Plan your meals carefully.
- Only buy ingredients that you need.
- Use re-seal bags correctly.
- Use food clips or Tupperware containers
- Cook a large dish and then divide it into portions to freeze for another day
- Check your cupboards and fridge before shopping
- Combine ingredients from leftover meals; you can add some fresh ingredients and make a new one
- Buy fruit and veg loose, buy only what you need
- Separate packs of meat and fish into smaller quantities for the freezer, take out the amount you need when you do.
Who’d have thought you could save £60 a month by just taking some time to plan your meals and shopping accordingly?!
Get to grips with meal planning; This in-depth guide will simplify what can be a daunting prospect if you’re just getting started.