Friday, May 25, 2018

10 Ways To Reduce Food Waste And Save Money On Your Monthly Food Bill

Colourful fresh vegetables
Only buy the veggies you need to reduce food waste
There’s so much guilt around food these days. We’re bombarded every day with guilt about our eating,  I suggest it’s time to by-pass the guilt and just enjoy food.  Appreciate all the tastiness, pleasure and health benefits it gives us, guilt-free…even if it’s a chocolate bar.

Unfortunately we're now being heaped on with another guilt called food waste.  Did you know that 40 per cent of all food produced is wasted?  Yep, it’s bad, but the sad part is that we as consumers, are to blame for most of it.  

You know how it goes. You buy veggies expecting to eat them, but they sit wilting in your fridge day after day until you finally throw them out.  Or, you have leftovers that you plan to eat, but end up tossing them because your dinner plans changed and the leftovers got forgotten.  Or, you decide to try a new recipe with an ingredient you rarely use, such as buttermilk, and you’re left with a half carton, which eventually gets chucked.   

We’re going to waste food at home, it’s inevitable.  But what’s troubling about it all is that producing food in the first place is hard on our environment. The entire food chain from farm to table creates loads of greenhouse gases, which contributes to climate change. So when we waste 40 percent of it, the environment gets compromised with no benefit to anyone. 

It’s not only a tragedy for the environment but also a huge loss to our pocket books. Imagine all the money you lose by throwing out food.  According to Save The Food Website a family of four will waste approximately $125.00 per month.  That is $1,500 per year.  Ouch! I don’t do math well, but this I understand is too much money.

By reducing food waste, we save money on our monthly grocery bill, and we also save the environment.  It’s a win-win.  Right?

So, here are 10 ways to save money on your monthly food bill by eliminating food waste. 

10.  Be Mindful of food 

Baby Lamb
visit a farm near by
Food appears to have lost its value. We don’t grow it ourselves so it’s hard to really understand where are our food comes from and how difficult it is to grow.  If there’s a farm nearby, I suggest you sign up for a tour and experience something of the hard life of a farmer or watch this video on the life of Saskatchewan farmer Keith.

9.  Only buy what you need

I’m guilty of over-buying.  I often go grocery shopping and buy things on sale.  Or, I purchase new products  I think I might like.  Of course, I don’t have a plan for them and so, I forget about them. Eventually, they end up in the garbage or compost (guilty).  This wouldn’t happen if I shopped only from a shopping list and just bought the food I needed.

8.  Love your leftovers! 

Colourful peppers
Freeze extra veggies before they go bad
Eat them for lunch. Heck you can even eat leftovers for breakfast.  Freeze leftovers that you can’t eat right away.  Write the date on the outside of the package and remember to eat the older food first.  There’s probably a meal in your freezer right now that you could serve for dinner tonight.

7.  Show off your leftovers

Keep leftovers front and centre, and don’t let them sneak to the back of the refrigerator where they can hide for days (or months!).  

6.  Freeze bread 

Freeze your loaf of bread before it goes stale.  Bread is a huge contributor to food waste.  Think how often you throw it out because it's mouldy or stale.  Grind stale pieces into crumbs and freeze them to use later on this crusty pepper salmon recipe.   

5.  Check the shelf life 

Understand best before dates so you don’t waste food unnecessarily. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know. 

4.  Freeze veggies 

If you have vegetables that are just about to go bad throw them in the freezer and use them in soups, stews, vegetable stock or fruit smoothies.

3.  Eat from your fridge 

Once a week create a meal with food already in your pantry, vegetable crisper or refrigerator. Don’t buy anything more. Be creative, this quiche recipe is a great way to use up veggies.  
A Vizsla
Try feeding your dog left-overs to reduce food waste

2. Dogs love leftovers

Consider feeding leftovers that are past their prime to your dog.  We’ve been doing this for ten years, and our dog loves it and is thriving.

1.  Menu plan

Meal planning is the best way to keep you on track to using the food you buy.  If you need motivation to meal plan sign up for our free course here.

Think of all the money you’ll save by diligently buying and using only the food you need.  You’ll have so much money, you’ll be able to buy more food!

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