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The reality is that increasing numbers of us are being forced to tighten the purse strings. While going out less and investing in bill-slashing upgrades such as double glazed windows are obvious and common money-saving-moves to make, there’s something lots of us are doing each and every day while failing to realise its impact – wasting food.
According to The Guardian, the average British shopper throws away around 10% of their weekly shop; however, it’s probably safe to say that many shoppers are underestimating the amount of waste they create. Sadly, 8% of shoppers admitted to throwing away a massive quarter of all the food they buy.
These statistics mean that the average household could save around £50 a month, or £600 a year, simply through being more careful with their food shopping.
The biggest mistake British shoppers make is going food shopping without a plan. This means we will get roped in by ‘241’ deals while buying more food than we need, or food that is likely to spoil before we get round to eating it.
Planning all your meals in advance, and then buying only the items needed for those meals will save you a great deal of money – not least because you won’t find yourself reaching for the takeaway menu upon realising you’ve got nothing left to make a decent meal from.
While you probably already know this, it’s a valuable rule and one you should always stick to. Going shopping when you’re hungry not only means you will probably buy far more food than you need; it’s also highly likely that you’ll end up with a cupboard full of junk.
Not what you want to eat. For starters, if you’ve planned your meals for the week, stick to the plan.
If you haven’t planned your meals, then look at what needs to be eaten soon and work your next meal around that.
This does take some discipline since it can be very tempting to eat what entices you. Yet if you choose to satisfy your cravings and order a takeaway or buy in something special for that night, other food items are going to go to waste instead.
You have then wasted the cost of the meal that’s been relegated to the bin, plus the cost of the meal you didn’t actually need to buy.
As well as buying too much food in the first place, another reason we waste so much food is that we cook far more than we can eat and the leftovers go in the bin.
If this happens, consider if the leftovers can be salvaged. Often, leftovers make a great lunch the next day; and a nice variation from the usual sandwiches and crisps. Alternatively, you can freeze them – ideal as a quick and easy ready meal when you’ve got no other food in.
Thanks to xedos4 for the photo