Smart Spending

Wasting Money On Wasted Food

The average American family of four produces over $2,000 worth of wasted food annually.  Can you imagine if you had an extra $2,000 in your bank account at the end of the year?  What could you do with that money?  Perhaps you could put it into a college fund for your children’s future or go on a small family vacation.  If you stop wasting food, this can be a reality for you.  There are simple steps to follow to save you on your grocery bills.

Eat leftovers before you prepare a new meal.  There are many ways you can reuse your leftovers in new ways to keep them from going in the trash.  For instance, you can make a savory chicken salad with leftover rotisserie chicken for sandwiches or put in on crackers for a snack on the following day.  Make new sides for a leftover main dish and new main dishes for leftover sides.

Serve smaller portions.  If you have a picky eater in your house, you can serve them a smaller helping.  This way, they can go back for seconds instead of scraping what was uneaten into the trash.  Encourage them to finish items by offering a small, enticing dessert.  Do not allow them to get up from the table until you say so.

Watch your expiration dates.  If you have an item that is close to expiring, eat it.  An example of this is hard boiling eggs right before they expire.  You can use these to make deviled eggs, egg salad, or use them in a cob salad.  Do not purchase foods that expire quickly, unless you have intentions to use them before they spoil.

Do not overstock your stockpile.  If you are buying items you are never going to eat just because you have a coupon for it, you are not doing yourself any favors.  If you are not eating it, you are wasting it.  Even if you only spent fifty cents on a particular item, multiples of this adds up to wasted money.

Creating a weekly or monthly household menu and sticking to it can help you buy less, saving you more money.  If you know ahead of time exactly what you are going to need when you enter the grocery store, you will be less likely to put unneeded items into your shopping cart.  You will know not to buy two heads of lettuce, if you will only need one.  You will also save money on gas, because you will only need to take one trip to the store every week or so.

If you follow these simple suggestions, you can be on your way to saving thousands per year on wasted groceries.  That can quickly add up to extra money in your account for other needs and wants.  So quit wasting your money on garbage and join in with other economical savers.