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Save Money By Eliminating Food Waste

-- 2011-08-16 1:00 am --

According to statistics, the average family of four throws about 14% of their food budget in the garbage can every year. That is a lot of wasted food and a lot of wasted money, up to $150 per month depending on your family's food budget. How can you cut down on food waste and the hemorrhage in your wallet at the same time? The following tips can give you some ideas to save your food and your money.

1.) Invest in a good set of reusable containers to store food in. How many times have you dug into the back of your refrigerator or freezer only to find a moldy piece of food more
reminiscent of a science fair project than anything edible? By properly storing leftover food, you can stop throwing leftovers in the trash and start finishing them.

2.) Plan your menus. If you often find yourself staring at a block of frozen solid hamburger at 5:30 pm and contemplating ordering pizza, then you might benefit from menu planning. Whether you do it weekly, biweekly, or monthly, menu planning is a proven way to both reduce food waste from fresh items spoiling before being used and preventing an evening call to your local pizza parlor or a run through the fast food drive-thru. To begin menu planning, make a list of your family’s favorite meals and what ingredients they contain. Assign a different meal to each night and then buy only the ingredients you need for the specific meals you have planned. Whether you plan one meal or all meals for the week, sticking to a plan forces you to buy less food and therefore waste less food.

3.) Make a grocery list. If you plan your menus, coming up with a grocery list is easy and just another way to reduce food waste. How many times ave you purchased an item on impulse at the grocery store only to find that same item weeks later, growing fuzz in your refrigerator? By sticking to a list once you get into the grocery store, you can reduce your overall bill and prevent food waste by not purchasing items you do not have a plan for.

4.) Serve a leftover buffet once a week. Often, the leftovers from a meal are small portions that barely make a meal for one person. If you combine a week’s worth of leftovers into a meal served buffet style to your family, you can keep that food out of the garbage and save money by not needing to buy one meal’s worth of groceries for that week's menu. Leftovers also make excellent alternatives to sandwiches for packed lunches.

5.) Be creative. Instead of tossing them into the garbage, use softening fruit in smoothies and just wilted vegetables for soups or vegetable stocks. Leftover meats can be used in salads, put in casseroles, or used as a pizza topping. Use your imagination to keep your food out of the garbage and in your family’s mouths.