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While we spend a large portion of our budget on food, unfortunately, we also throw a lot of food, and thereby, money away. That’s not only wasted money, but wasted time shopping and cooking for our families. Here are ten ways to help you from wasting food.
1. Plan all your meals for the course of the week and create a list of everything you’ll need for each meal.
2. Buy only what you need and what you know you’re going to use. I always stick to my list and try not to deviate from it.
3. Use all perishable food first and save the frozen and canned food for later on in the week.
4. Don’t impulsively buy sales items. If you see a 2 for 1 sales item and you don’t think you’ll finish the second one by the expiration date, instead of saving money, you’ll be losing out.
5. Always check expiration dates. Stores are not always good at checking food that has expired, so that’s something you should always check.
6. Don’t throw away leftovers. My kids don’t always finish their meals, so instead of throwing the food away, I use it for the next day’s lunch or I'll freeze it.
7. Whenever I have fruits or vegetables that are going bad, I try to quickly use them up for a meal. I cut up some limp vegetables and make a quick soup. Bananas that have ripened too much can be used for pancakes.
8. Make sure to rotate the items in your fridge, placing older stuff in the front. Do this in your pantry too.
9. Always check your refrigerator. Keep all perishable food up front. Check your refrigerator before you go shopping so you don’t buy something that you already have. Try to also plan your meals with food that’s near its expiration date.
10. Make sure you’re storing your food correctly. Storing both refrigerated and non-refrigerated food properly helps it last longer.
One more tip. Avoid impulse buying at the store. Since I bring my kids with me when I shop, I try to schedule shopping after we’ve all had a meal or at least a snack. That way, none of us will be hungry and they’ll be less likely to ask me to buy a snack for them.
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