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Savvy ways to save money on food

Savvy ways to save money on food

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Everyone hates waste. But did you know that the average household in the UK chucks out nearly £60 worth of food each month? Just think about that for a second. As well as being harsh on the environment, that amount of money could pay for a whole week’s food shopping, a new outfit or a family day out.

If you’d like to cut down your food bills without forsaking treats or reducing the quality of the food you buy, then being savvy with waste is the way to do it. Here’s how:

Use leftovers wisely

If you have a lot of food prepared then hold some back. Rather than pile the family’s plates high with food they won’t eat, leave some in the pot to be used later. Most dishes can be frozen to eat at a later date or you could put leftovers in the fridge for lunch the next day. You don’t have to eat the same thing over again either; mince can be turned into chilli or Bolognese, while chicken has loads of options from wrap fillings to pasta bakes or curries. Bulk dishes out with lentils or veggies if you don’t think you have enough meat to go round.

Know the difference

Do you know what ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates mean? Some people throw away lots of food that is fine to eat because they don’t know the difference. A ‘use by’ date is when the food is expected to go off and food shouldn’t be eaten after that date (unless it has been frozen). However, a ‘best before’ date is not so rigid. It refers to the quality rather than the safety of food. For example, you might find the contents of a packet of crisps to be slightly less crunchy than you’d expect after their best before date but they are still perfectly safe to eat.

Raid the fridge

Not so much for something to munch on but to see exactly what you’ve got in there. Before you go shopping, check the contents of the fridge so that you don’t end up buying stuff you don’t need that might end up going off. Check the use by dates on everything, particularly meat and fish, so you can plan to eat them or transfer them into the freezer rather than having to throw them away.

Use your freezer

Savvy ways to save money on foodFreezers are a godsend for those of us who would hate or don’t have time to go to the shops every day. Most foods can be frozen, meaning you can extend their shelf life from the date they were bought. Not only can you freeze your shopping to use later in the week, you can also freeze leftovers if you don’t fancy the same thing two nights in a row.

Store food well

Most cupboard foods have a relatively long shelf life but without proper organisation, use by dates can come and go before products are used. When you bring your shopping home, make sure you pull all the stuff already in the cupboard to the front and place your shopping in behind it. This is a quick and easy way to ensure that older items are used first. Keeping your cupboard well stocked with things like herbs, spices, pasta and noodles means you’ll always have something in to make a meal with.

Plan ahead

One of the most effective ways of reducing your food waste is to plan your meals in advance. This means writing a shopping list and sticking to it. That way you won’t buy more than you need and will end up throwing less stuff out, saving you money.







About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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