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How To Reduce Food Waste And Save Money

As a child, you were probably scolded on a regular basis for being wasteful with your food. How many times did you have to be told about the starving children overseas that would have been grateful for your meal? Unfortunately, these bad habits can persist well into adulthood and even though it might seem that we don’t spend so much on groceries when using, for instance, Target coupons, large amounts of food waste are still created and it’s simply no good. Read on to learn more about how to reduce your food waste and save money.

  1. Smarter Shopping

We often waste food because we have purchased far too much of in the first place. Instead of heading to the grocery store without a plan of action, take a moment to sit down and make a proper list. Plan the meals that you’d like to prepare for the coming week ahead of time, so you can purchase the items you need and avoid any superfluous shopping. If you are on the fence about purchasing a certain item, just ask yourself if you have a viable plan for using it. Try to buy in bulk from places like Costco when you can.  Meal planning will also help you cut down on eating out.

  1. Be More Realistic

If you live alone or you have a small family to feed, adhere to what the recipes call for and don’t buy extra food “just in case”. “Just in case” food almost never ends up getting used and usually goes to waste rather quickly. You should also be more realistic about your cooking habits. Those who do not cook on a regular basis should only purchase the necessary items for the dish they are preparing, instead of stockpiling.

  1. Using the FIFO Method

People who’ve worked in food related industries in the past are well aware of this method and it will help you to keep your foodstuffs fresh over the long haul. For the uninitiated, FIFO stands for “first in and first out”. When you are putting your groceries away, read the labels and check for expiration dates. Move your older products to the forefront and place the newer ones in the back to avoid spoilage.

  1. Keep Track Of Waste

Waste can pile up faster than we expect it to. Are you starting to feel as though too much goods are being thrown away? Spend one whole week keeping a journal and tracking just how much waste is being produced. Knowing exactly how much you are throwing away will give you a chance to alter your food consumption habits for the better.

  1. Consume Your Leftovers

Letting yourself become too good for leftovers is an inefficient way to live. Not only does it lead to a greater amount of food waste, but it is also a major waste of money. Instead of going out for lunch every day at work, why not bring in some of the food that you’ve already prepared and paid for?

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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The content on is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not financial advice and we are not certified financial advisors. strives to keep its information accurate and up to date, but it may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services. We work hard to write authentic and accurate articles.