WASTE & BUDGET TIPS
There are a multitude of ways to reduce your food costs at the grocery store and reduce food waste at home. Here are some helpful tips for making shopping more efficient, better storing methods at home, and optimizing your food budget.
EFFICIENT TIPS FOR THE GROCERY AISLES
1. Understand your Waste
Pay attention to what ends up in your bin. Becoming more aware of what, why, and how you waste is an essential first step to reducing your food waste!
2. Plan Ahead
Meal planning is one of the best ways to minimize food waste. The easiest way to start is by making a list of what you already have.
3. Freeze Produce
Freeze any excess produce before it goes bad. Frozen fruits and veggies are just as healthy as fresh produce.
4. Learn Label Lingo
Best before dates are often misinterpreted as expiry dates, when in fact, they are the manufacturer's best guess as to how long a food item will be at its peak quality.
While working hard to reduce edible food waste, why not tackle inedible food waste too?
DON'T JUDGE YOUR PRODUCE!
These "ugly" fruits and veggies taste just as good.
They have as many nutrients and are just as healthy!
Billions of pounds of fruits and vegetables go to waste every year!
It's not just the produce being wasted, think of the water and resources used to grow them.
STORING YOUR FOOD
Freeze tomatoes whole and grate them into a pot when you are ready to use! You can also roast them with garlic and thyme then purée and freeze into portions.
Cut in cubes, freeze and store. Alternatively, transfer into airtight containers and replace the water every few days.
Soft produce? Cut it up and freeze it in bags for smoothies or home-made ice cream.
Wash, slice and lay on a tray to freeze. Once frozen, pack them into bags and store in the freezer. You can also dry your peels until they snap, then crush or grind into a powder for lemon zest.
Don't wash your greens until you are ready to use them! Wrap your leafy greens loosely in a tea towel and refigerate.
Chop up spinach and freeze it in ice cube trays to use in smoothies or to make a delicious spinach dip!
Half an Avocado
Do you want to save half an avocado for later? Submerge it in water and put it in the fridge until you are ready to eat it.
Odds and Ends
Don't throw away those odds and ends! Keep them in an airtight freezer bag and use them to make soup stock!
Left Over Herbs
Dry your herbs on a windowsill or on a baking sheet in the oven until dry and crush them up for quick seasoning.
Make sauces like béchamel or white sauce and freeze in handy sizes so you can rustle up a macaroni and cheese or lasagna with no hassle!
Place the root ends in water near plenty of light. Replace the water every other day and watch it re-grow!
Purée and refrigerate or freeze and grate when ready to use. Apply the same method for onions, ginger and chilies. Freeze in ice cube trays for portion control.
BUDGET TIPS TO SAVE
MONEY ON GROCERIES
Grocery shopping is a significant expense for most families and households, but there are ways to make it more affordable.
Shop on a full stomach. You'll buy fewer snacks and/or things you don't usually buy.
Only buy groceries at the grocery store. You pay a higher premium for gifts and extra stuff!
Make a list and stick to it, especially if your kids are "helping".
Plan your meals for the week ahead before you shop and only buy what's on the menu.
Shop only once a week. You'll tend to spend more if you stop at the store every day or several times a week.
Planning Ahead to
Plan meals so that you have leftovers for lunch the next day, or freeze leftovers for a quick meal another day.
Package your own treats and snacks. Buy the large package of snacks and a box of baggies and make your own individually wrapped packages to grab on the run.
Buy fewer canned and packaged convenience foods and shred your own lettuce and cheese.
Clean out your fridge and cupboards once a month. Use up what you bought before buying more.
Organize your food storage cupboards and drawers. If you don't know what you have or can't find what you bought, you'll end up unnecessarily buying more of the same.
If you stock up, organize by expiry date and package the food to preserve it as long as needed.
If you buy large packages of meat, pre-cook or marinate it and then freeze it to speed up meal times. If you know that you've got food ready at home, it's less tempting to eat out.
Don't buy snacks on the run. They are often less healthy and more expensive.
Shop with a calculator and add things up as you put them in your cart. If you're shopping with kids, give them the job to tally what's in the cart. It will help you stick to your spending plan.
Buy non-food grocery items like detergent or garbage bags at a discount or wholesale store.
Only buy what you need and can afford. 3-for-1 deals are only beneficial if you can use three.
Price check and shop around for discounts on items you buy regularly. Use store and manufacturer coupons when you can.
Remember that smaller sizes can sometimes be a good deal.
Don't automatically overlook no-name or store brands.
Even if it's "on sale", it's only a good purchase if you will use it!