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Food waste is a significant global problem that not only impacts the environment but also our weekly budget. With rising grocery prices and soaring cost-of-living expenses, it’s now more important than ever to adopt sustainable practices that can help reduce food waste and save money. By making small changes in our daily routines, we can contribute to a healthier planet and a healthier budget.
Plan Your Meals
One of the most effective ways to reduce food waste is by meal planning. Taking a few minutes each week to create a meal plan and including the ingredients you already have at home will help you buy only what you need and avoid purchasing unnecessary items. Remember to check expiry dates and plan meals around those items that are close to expiry to ensure that they are used up.
Make a Shopping List
Before heading to the grocery store, always make a shopping list, stick to it and resist the temptation to buy items that are not essential. By doing so, you will reduce the chances of impulse buying food that may go uneaten. A well planned shopping list is a powerful tool in preventing food waste and overspending.
Practice Proper Food Storage
Proper storage is crucial to maintaining the freshness of perishable items. Get familiar with the recommended storage techniques for different types of food, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and leftovers. By storing food correctly, you can extend its shelf life and avoid unnecessary spoilage.
Don’t throw out your leftovers! Leftovers can be reinvented into delicious meals with a little creativity. Check out our Leftovers Reinvented recipes for creative ways to repurpose leftovers into another meal. Not only will this help reduce food waste, but it will also save you money by eliminating the need to cook from scratch.
My biggest saver with food waste is definitely my freezer! From freezing whole meals, leftovers, baking, snacks, excess fruit and vegetables, you can freeze pretty much anything and prolong its shelf life by months.
Be mindful of portion sizes when cooking and serving meals. Overestimating the amount of food needed can lead to leftovers that may go uneaten. Portion control can also help you avoid cooking more than necessary, reducing food waste and saving money on groceries.
Give Food Scraps a New Life
Make the most of the food you buy by giving scraps a new life. Vegetable peelings and meat bones can be used to cook nourishing stocks and soups, and soft fruit can be cooked into stewed fruit or desserts. Vegetables such as spring onions and lettuce can be regrown from the roots and planted into your veggie garden. Food scraps can also added to a compost bin to create a nutrient-rich compost for your garden, or if you have chooks, some scraps can be fed to them to supplement their diet.
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