by Holly Sanders
(Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
With rising food costs it is easy to spend a lot more than you need to on food. If you are aware of how much you spend and shop smart, you can greatly reduce your expenditure without sacrificing nutritional value.
These 5 tips will help you waste less, shop more effectively, and have a better understanding of what you need.
1. Make a list of all the things you will need for the week.
If you often find yourself making impulse purchases and buying things you do not need, creating a weekly shopping list can help you avoid wasting money. If you are shopping for others, guessing what they want can cause you to select items that may end up wasted. Shopping weekly and buying everything you need is much better than shopping without a plan whenever you run out of food.
2. Use what you have and eat leftovers.
If you buy things you do not need, it is likely you will look at a half full pantry or fridge and decide you are out of food. Find a use for them so you can clear up space to make it easier to see what you actually have and in the future avoid buying items that you do not think you will eat.
Make sure you eat all of your leftovers as soon as you can to avoid wasting food. You can also purposely make leftovers to cook once and eat several times. This saves time and is cheaper than cooking small amounts, and will help you if you tend to eat precooked food instead of making your own
3. Avoid buying precooked foods if they cost more than raw foods
Precooked foods can be much more expensive than raw products. For example, a can of beans weighs 400 grams and will have 240 grams of beans in it. The beans will be cooked which makes them absorb a lot of water meaning the raw product weighs much less than that. For the same price, you would get more beans if you bought the raw product and cooked them yourself. Buy the large packets of raw legumes instead of canned and you will spend half as much.