Five Financial Food Tips to Keep Your Wallet & Fridge Full
In today’s economy, food waste and overspending on groceries is becoming a pressing concern for the public. Now more than ever people are willing to, and actively seeking out effective strategies that strike the balance between enjoying the perfect meal, and responsible consumption. That’s why we’re exploring practical steps that not only minimize food waste but also help you make the most of your grocery budget.
Plan Out Your Week
By having a set meal plan in place you’ll know what you need to buy and how much, for every delicious dish that week. This also helps you avoid tossing impulse items that may not even get eaten into your cart. Some questions you can ask yourself before hitting the aisles include:
How many meals will I need to make for the week?
Should I account for leftovers?
How much time does each meal take to prepare?
How can I use the same ingredients for multiple meals?
Avoid Overstocking Your Fridge
There is a subtle difference between fully stocking the refrigerator, and overstocking the refrigerator. By fully stocking the fridge, you’re making sure all your ingredients and necessities are properly stored for the week’s meal preparation. However, by overstocking the fridge, you can be left with an excess amount of food that doesn’t get eaten in time, leading to food spoilage and ultimately money thrown away.
Cooking for One?
Unfortunately many online recipe sites and cookbook pages are less than friendly to those only looking to prepare one-portion meals at a time. Even packaged foods at the grocery store tend to come in family-sized packages, often leading to excess waste and money spent for a single household. Instead of letting your surplus food sit there and go bad, try cooking in bulk then store and eat the leftovers for future meals to get the most out of your products and purchases. While you may have to do a little digging it can be worth it to seek out single-serve recipes that strategically curate meals made from ingredients for one person so you’re not wasting your food or money.
Many colleges have packages available for students to rent larger items such as mini-fridges and microwaves. It’s a helpful idea to check your university’s website to see if this is an option that would work for you and your child. Not only will this save money, but many of these programs deliver these heavy items right to the room so you don’t have to worry about transporting them during move-in.
Correctly Store Your Fruits & Veggies
- Keep potatoes in a cool, dark, place outside of the refrigerator and keep them away from onions and bananas.
- Leave unripe fruits on the counter until they ripen, then store them in the fridge.
- Seal leafy greens unwashed in a ziplock baggie in the fridge.
- Keep apples in the fridge so they stay crisp.
Eat Your Leftovers!
It’s one thing to pack up and store your leftovers, but you have to actually eat them too in order to get your money’s worth. Bring last night’s dinner into the office for a tasty lunch, or if it’s something that doesn’t need to be warmed, pack them for your kids’ school lunch. You can even reinvent your leftovers by using them to make exciting new dishes so it doesn’t feel like you’re eating the same thing over and over again.
Greater Ways to Save Your Food & Your Money
By implementing the strategies outlined in this blog post, you’re not only taking steps to cut down on wastage but also fostering a more sustainable relationship with your resources. Embracing meal planning, avoiding overstocking, mastering single-portion cooking, using proper storage techniques, and adding a creative approach to leftovers are the keys to a more satisfying, economical, and responsible grocery trip.