You may not realize it, but many dollars are thrown out with the trash. This constitutes food that you buy but don’t consume. If your finances are tight and you already have several credit cards with high balances, it is time to change your shopping behavior to save as much as possible. One of the first places you can start is on groceries.
How to Shop Wisely
- Buy only the fresh products you are going to use within the next couple of days, because if you don’t, you will have to throw them away. If you aren’t going to eat large amounts up fast enough, buy smaller amounts more regularly.
- Plan your meals and buy accordingly. If you know what you need, you will know how much to buy. We do this every month and it has saved us a ton of work and money.
- Buy the portions that you will need, unless you can repackage and freeze the food you won’t be able to consume immediately. Don’t buy more just because it is offered as a special in the store. If the household does not use it, you have to discard it, and with it the money you spent on it.
How To Keep What You Already Have
- If you do buy excess fruit or vegetables, place paper towels at the bottom of your refrigerator’s crisp drawer. This will soak up the moisture that causes the perishables to rot.
- To keep bugs from your flour, rice and pasta, place a bay leaf into the container.
- When carrots or celery have gone limp, place them in a container of iced water together with a slice of uncooked potato. This will freshen these vegetables so you can use them as planned.
- Keep bananas in the bunch you buy them in. They won’t spoil and go soft as quickly. If they are beginning to spoil, don’t throw them away. Surprise the family with a home-baked banana loaf.
- Add salt to your rice to prevent it from clotting or going hard. The rice absorbs the condensation and in this way prevents clumps.
- Buy butter in bulk when it is on sale. It can be frozen up to 6 months. Prevent the butter from taking on the flavor of other frozen goodies by putting it in an airtight container.
- Here is a clever idea – to get sour cream or cottage cheese to last longer, you can place the container the wrong way up in the refrigerator. The logic here is that by having the tub upside down, you create a vacuum that prevents the growth of food-spoiling bacteria.
- Honey and eggs are good food. Don’t throw honey out when it crystallizes. Heat it up in a microwave at medium heat, thirty seconds at a time until it is clear. Test eggs this way – put them in a bowl of water. Fresh eggs sink while bad ones will float.
- Treat a lemon like an orange. Puncture it at the top and use only the amount of juice you require. If you cut it in half, the half not used will dry out and will have to be thrown away.
- Extra cooked rice or pasta can be sealed in a plastic bag and refrigerated or frozen. To thaw pasta, just throw it in boiling water, just for a few seconds to reheat and bring back the moisture.
Do what you can to save as much as you can on your monthly food bill. This will decrease the money you waste and prevent your from spending extra.
So, do have any tricks to share about how you save money on food costs? Please share.
This post was written by Andreas from MoneySupermarket.