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Eco Cooking Series

When it comes to saving money, food consumption is one of the first areas you should consider. There are many ways you can cut down on food waste that happens in your home.

Here are a few things to think about.

food waste

Think Twice about What You Buy

When you are at the grocery store, don’t just pick up whatever looks good. If something is jumping out at you, put it on your grocery list and decide whether you will actually buy it the next time you are in the store. This will save money immediately, and will be a good reminder that a person often doesn’t even really want or use many of the items they buy.

Make Meal Plans

At the beginning of each week, create meal plans for you and your family. Make a grocery list based off these meals plans. This will keep you focused on purchasing necessities rather than frivolous items.

Use a Shopping List

Make a shopping list and take it to the store with you. Stick to this list at all times. Do not deviate or be tempted by purchases that are last-minute temptations. If it's not on the list, it’s a “no.”

Cook a Little Less Than Needed

Often we cook more than our family or friends will end up eating when we serve them a meal. We are afraid it will look tacky if people are still hungry and the food is gone. This is a quick road to major food waste, as people eat more than they need if there is excessive food.

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There is nothing wrong with having just enough to feed everyone, and then moving on to the next course. This way, everyone leaves a bit of room in their stomachs, saving indigestion and future leftovers that may never get pulled out of the fridge and eaten.

Eat Leftovers at Another Meal

If you do end up with leftovers, then by all means, eat them. In your meal planning, schedule in at least two meals a week for leftovers. Plan them to happen at separate times during the week so that all leftovers will be used and enjoyed at some point.

Buy Smaller Portions

Often fresh fruits and vegetables get purchased and then go bad after sitting too long in the fridge. To solve this problem, buy less of the items that spoil quickly. You may love oranges, but instead of buying a whole bag, buy half a bag. Or instead of buying five grapefruits, buy two. You might have to get groceries more often, but if you are scheduling two trips to the grocery store per week this shouldn’t be a problem.

Saving on food waste is one of the biggest ways we can save money in our homes. It doesn’t take a lot of planning to save a reasonable amount of money. By looking through this list, you are sure to find at least a few ways you can personally cut down on your food waste. This will save you a lot of money, and enable you to be a better steward of the Earth’s resources.

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