In the home, the rubbish bin in the kitchen is always the first to fill up, and kitchen-related items, including food, take up most of the grocery list (and monthly budget). While preparing food is something that needs to be done on a daily basis, that doesn’t mean that’s all there is.
Aside from snagging yourself a discount code for Habitat or one of the many other sites offering codes, what else can be done to continue saving?
Have you taken a look at what you throw away in your kitchen? Did you know that with some food-saving tips and tricks, you not only reduce kitchen waste but save money as well? Here are some things you can do today that will guarantee you a smaller grocery bill and of course, bigger savings.
Keep your pantry organized.
Yes, there are many things you’d rather forget, but let’s hope food in your pantry isn’t one of them. For things in the fridge, on the shelf, and in pantry cupboards, out of sight does mean out of mind. If you don’t organize—and see—what you have, there will be a big tendency for you to forget that it’s even there. This is a big no-no if you’re storing food and other edibles, because you have to take note of the “Best Before” dates and remember to use them all up before then, lest you end up throwing them away. You can put leftovers in air-tight glass jars and reusable plastic containers (preferably see-through), stick a piece of masking tape on them, and write down the date when it’s stored and the “Use by” date.
Remake those leftovers.
Take note that the word is remake, not reheat (unless you really, really want to eat the same thing you had for dinner the night before). Many leftovers can be given a makeover and turned into simple dishes. For instance, if you have leftover meat, you can turn this into a sandwich spread or make a taco filling. Leftover chicken can be shredded and used as an ingredient in salads, pies and curries.
Make something delicious out of kitchen scraps.
Another thing you can do to reduce waste at home is to put those kitchen scraps to use. Instead of tossing wilty, sad-looking greens and other produce in the rubbish bin, use them to make vegetable broth. If you have stale bread, make croutons or French toast out of it.
Recycle and reuse non-food kitchen waste.
You probably have all sorts of takeaway containers, paper bags and boxes, and plastic grocery bags in your kitchen—don’t throw them away! A little bit of practical and creative thinking can lead you to ways to reuse and recycle these items to save (and even make) money.
Plan your meals and then buy food, not the other way around.
A lot of the food items that go to waste are those that you buy at the supermarket because it looked so nice and fresh but then you end up not being able to figure out what to do with it once it’s sitting on your kitchen counter. While this may be fine for boxed or canned items, for fresh meat and greens, it would be a waste.
To avoid this, spend time planning what you’ll be eating for the following week (including the stuff you’ll need for packed lunches) before heading out to the shops. It would be a good idea to plan meals that share common ingredients so you reduce waste. Stick to the menu plan and necessary ingredients, and you’ll not only lessen kitchen waste, you’ll be saving more on food as well.