Everyone has to budget for food, and many people go to the grocery store at least once a week. Here are a few tips to make those trips less expensive by avoiding waste.
Stick to a List
Making a grocery list is a great way to stop overspending. If you know what you’ll be eating for the week, only buy what you need. To make it easier on you, plan for meals with similar ingredients so your list is short. By sticking to the list you prevent yourself from any impulse buys that will have you spending more than planned. A little bit of preparation can go a long way in making sure you use what you purchase, and spend less at the market.
If you want to save money by purchasing now and using later, use your freezer. Planning some meals far ahead and freezing what you intend to use will lower next week’s grocery bill. Meats and vegetables are the obvious items you can freeze, but you can also put shredded cheese and bread in the freezer to make them last longer. You can freeze your food, and your spending at the same time.
Organize Your Kitchen
One of the reasons food is wasted is lack of organization. The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” certainly applies to what you eat at home. Make sure you can see everything in your pantry and refrigerator. This will help you use the food in front of you. Vegetables and dairy products will go bad, and bread will grow stale and moldy. Remember, you paid for all the food you’re now throwing away. Save that money and organize.
Use-By Date vs. Expiration Date
All of the dates on food can be a bit confusing. There are differences between a use-by date and an expiration date. If you have food with an expiration date that has passed, get rid of it, it has expired. However, food with a use-by date that has recently passed is usually safe to eat. The use-by date only suggests best quality, not safety, which means you don’t have to throw it away. For more information on product dates, click here.
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