Did you know that the average family will throw away £50 ($80) of food each month that was bought but never eaten? You probably think you couldn’t possibly waste that much food and money each month! But how many times do you cook too much food and end up throwing it in the bin, or buy too much fruit and veg and don’t manage to eat it before it goes off? Or perhaps you buy some meat but forget to eat it or put it in the freezer before its expiry date. All these things add up, becoming more aware of the food you are buying and what you’re wasting is one of the easiest ways to save money on your food bill…
1. Get Store Cupboard Savvy
You should try to keep your store cupboard stocked full of tins and jars of things your family love to eat. Beans, soup, tinned vegetables, these are all things that have long use by dates and they’re often on offer so you can stock up on them while they’re cheap. And don’t forget long life food like pasta, noodles and rice. Having these sorts of ingredients to hand means you can always knock up a quick meal for your family.
2. Carb Control
While we’re on the subject of rice and pasta, are you always guilty of cooking too much of it? You need to learn how to measure the correct portions out, for example you only need around 100g per adult when it comes to pasta. Get into the habit of weighing this food out so you don’t end up cooking too much.
3. Get Familiar with Your Fridge and Freezer
This is one of the easiest ways to save money, regularly check your fridge and make sure you know exactly what’s in there as well as the use by dates. Meat and ready meals are some of the most expensive things on our shopping list so if something is nearly out of date, plan to use it or pop it in the freezer.
When you first get home with your shopping, unpack it and try and freeze a fair amount of it straight away so you can’t waste as much. If you have bought large packets of sausages or chicken then divide them up into freezer bags so you can just get out enough for one meal at a time.
4. Lovely Leftovers
It’s so easy to scrape any leftover food straight out of the pan and into the bin, but don’t do it! You’d be surprised how many meals you can get out of saving your leftovers. If you have a joint of meat for your Sunday lunch, keep the meat for sandwiches for the next day or you could even make a soup or stew out of it. Making a big chilli con carne or pasta for your family? Pop the leftovers in some Tupperware and it can make a nice ready meal for the next day.
5. Be Prepared!
Being organised is the best way of saving money on your food bill. Before you hit the shops have a look through your cupboards, fridge and freezer and work out exactly what you need to buy. You can plan for the week ahead and buy what you need for each meal, this will reduce the risk of wasting food and it also means you won’t waste time searching the fridge for something to cook for your family. Making a list of exactly what you need means you won’t waste money buying things you already have and you won’t wander up the aisles buying things you don’t necessarily need.
Saving money on your food bill doesn’t mean you have to miss out on luxuries that you and your family enjoy. It’s just a case of learning to be more organised, planning ahead and making sure you make the most of the food you have, minimising wastage and ultimately saving you some precious pennies!
This article was written by Meredith Watts on behalf of Aspire Money; providers of bad credit loans and smart debt solutions for everyone.
Please remember to read all risk statements and consider if the Representative APR is appropriate for your needs before entering into any loan arrangement or you can obtain the OFT booklet “Think before you borrow“.