Curb Food Waste & Save Hundreds of Dollars

February 27, 2020
We are all guilty of wasting food at one time or another. Although we generally do this unwittingly, the habit still hurts the environment and our wallets. Just how much money are we losing by wasting food? You might be surprised. According to the National Zero Waste Council, the average Canadian household throws away 140 kilograms of food every year. Calculated in dollars, this represents $1100 per year, or almost $100 a month.
Curb Food Waste & Save Hundreds of Dollars

Would you like to reduce the amount of food wasted in your household? Then here are 4 tips to help you do so:

Plan Your Meals

Before you head out to the grocery store, take some time to plan your meals for the week. Doing so will help you not only be less tempted to buy on impulse, but you will also be more inclined to buy only the foodstuffs you genuinely need. This will result in two-fold savings: first, you will be trimming the cost of your grocery bill itself, and second, by buying only what you truly need, you will curb your food-wasting, which will also ultimately benefit your finances. 

Forage Your Fridge

Before creating your weekly meal plan, do a bit of fridge foraging and see what’s available to you. This way, you won’t be buying things you already have. Also, you can use this opportunity to take note of anything that needs to be eaten soon, before it goes bad. Thus, you will avoid having to throw anything out. 

Use Leftovers

Don’t throw away leftovers. Instead, refrigerate them in airtight containers and serve them on another weeknight or whenever you don’t feel like preparing a meal. If your leftover is not big enough to make a meal, you can probably combine it with other ingredients to create a different meal. For instance, you can use leftover meats and vegetables to make soups, stir-fries, and pasta or rice dishes.

Expiration Dates

The February 12th, 2020 edition of the Globe and Mail, in an article about the expiration dates of foods, discusses how we, as consumers, throw out food way too liberally. It states that the reason we do this is that we think the “best before” dates that manufacturers stamp on food packaging mean “bad after” or “dangerous after” when in reality, this is far from the truth. The article suggests that instead of being quick to throw out foods just because they are dated, we should rely on what our nose and our eyes tell us. In other words, use common sense: if it still smells good and looks good, then it’s probably fine for consumption. But if the food smells bad or looks bad, then, of course, don’t eat it. If you need help trying to figure out how much further than a past-due date you can eat food, you can search the web and find one of the many websites that talk in detail about the actual shelf life of any particular food.

So, with these few tips in mind, how about seeing if there is an area in which you too can help curb food-wasting? Not only will you be helping the environment, but who knows?  Maybe by this time next year, you will have shaved tens and perhaps even hundreds of dollars off your grocery bill. 

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