This is crazy. One in two Australian households say they have no cash to spare at the end of each month – yet we collectively toss out up to $10 billion in food each year*. That makes it time to embrace ways to save money on food and cut back waste.
The rising cost of essentials is the number one concern for two out of five Australian households. But food rescue group OzHarvest say we throw out $1,036 worth of groceries each year#. It makes saving money on food a smart way to keep more cash in our hip pocket. Here are some great tips from our friends at ME.
Dine at the cheapest place in town – home
We’re not just wasting food – where we eat is costing us.
Each week Australians fork out nearly $1 billion – about $100 per household, on dining out^. If you have a serious appetite for saving money on food, a great starting point is to cook at home.
Nothing sees us reach for a home delivery menu faster than an empty fridge. So save money on groceries by planning meals in advance. Write down the ingredients you need and stick to the list when you hit the supermarket.
Time your grocery shopping
Late afternoons and evenings can be peak times for discounts on perishables like meat and bakery goods. The freezer is one of your best resources for saving money on food, letting you stock up on specials and store them for later on.
Cook in bulk
Saving money on groceries is easy, even for single person households, who may only need small servings. When you cook large quantities, freeze what you don’t need. Use the leftovers for budget-friendly lunches at work, or zap a few containers in the microwave and curb Friday night cravings for a take-out.
Don’t toss it – stew, stock or soup it
Fruit, vegetables and even loaves of bread that are past their prime can still form the foundation of awesome meals.
Wilted vegetables can be a great addition to soups, stocks and even frittatas and quiches; overripe fruit is ideal to blend in a smoothie or add to chutneys and relishes. Even stale bread is good to go for breadcrumbs.
Organise your fridge for less waste
It’s easy to spend money on groceries, pile the lot into the fridge and forget about your purchases until some distant time when you realise that unidentifiable pillar of mould is the cheddar cheese you’d written off as missing in action.
Cooking on a budget calls for a rethink of the way you use fridge space. Arranging food on a ‘first in, first out’ basis helps to identify foods with an earlier expiry date and minimise unnecessary waste.
Is saving money on groceries easy? Absolutely. A pinch of planning, a sprinkle of creativity and a healthy serve of smart shopping are all it takes to eat right, trim your food budget and avoid clogging landfills with last night’s leftover takeaways.
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