A lot of people spend a lot of money to purchase fresh produce. However, as the case turns out to be, those vegetables and fruit may end up costing you more than you had thought. Americans throw away approximately $640 worth of food every single year. That’s what the newest survey taken by the American Chemistry Council says. This is probably a low figure, however, as the government’s own figures indicate that it’s probably nearer to $900 worth of food wasted per household.
1,000 adults were surveyed the ACC and they found that just over three quarters admit to tossing their leftovers on a monthly basis. With half indicating that they throw away food every week. In addition, fifty-one percent of the surveyed say they toss food that they’ve never opened.
This may sound very wasteful – which it is, of course – if you’re eating healthily, you’re no doubt purchasing fresh veges and fruit and – unless you’re vigilant about using them – they will go bad quickly; especially if you purchase them too early.
The survey says that a great number of us – 96% – try to reduce food waste. Despite this, however, we’re still throwing away a lot of food – and money.
The question is: how you can both save money while simultaneously lessening the waste you throw out in the garbage? The easiest way to do that is to start by using those leftovers rather than discarding them. Other ways include shopping and storing smarter.
Six ways you can achieve this:
Make a List
Making out a list for your groceries should be an easy one. But try thinking beyond the foods you just ran out of. Try this: on Sunday, write out most if not all of the meals for the coming week. That way you can create an exact list of the things you need when you go shopping next. This is an idea put forth by “The Nutrition Twins,” registered dietitians Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos Shames. They suggest that once at the shopping center, stay true to the list.
You do not need to stick to the recipe in order for it to be delicious. Jeanette Pavini, a savings expert at Coupons.com cautions that staying true to the recipe can lead to spending money on ingredients that you’ll likely only use one time. For nearly every ingredient there is some kind of substitution you can make. You can use Google to find alternatives of things you already have in your pantry. This will help you by cutting down on your grocery bill and wasting less.
Stock Up on Dried Grains
Both dried beans and grains are a cost-saving way of adding fiber and essential proteins to your diet. According to Sara Siskind, founder of Hands on Healthy and a certified nutritional health counselor, if stored correctly, they can last about a year. Bulk purchase your grains to cut costs and then store them in a container that’s air-tight. You’ll want to tuck this away into a dark, cool place during the winter and then toss it into your freezer during the summer, helping to lengthen its shelf life, she explains.
Don’t Purchase Produce in Bulk
Purchasing tomatoes by the carton may look like a great deal, but not if you only need a couple. Spoiled produce, explain the Nutrition Twins, is not a bargain. This is even more true if you are cooking just for yourself. In this case, just take one tomato and leave any extra for others.
Think About Purchasing Sliced Fruit
It may seem that those pre-cut pineapple, mango and strawberries are a bad deal when you are able to purchase twice the fruit with the same amount of money. However, when you factor in things like peeling, washing and even slicing the fruit, it becomes far more time costing and that might lead to you not eating it until it’s too late, says Siskind. So, while it may be more expensive to purchase pre-cut fruit, it might be worthwhile in the long run if you actually consume the fruit instead of throwing it away.
Shop for Frozen Veggies
Most of you already know that you should avoid salt-laden frozen food, however, that’s really only for frozen dinners. Shames and Lakatos explain that, “Frozen produce is just as nutritious as fresh since the produce is picked and frozen immediately, keeping the nutrients intact.” Frozen is also more economical. For instance, twelve ounces of packaged frozen raspberries can usually be bought for a similar price as six fresh ounces. Not only that, they add, but using frozen allows you more flexibility when planning your schedule without worrying about things going bad in your refrigerator.