Wasted food is wasted money. Every time food goes bad in your fridge, you’ll have no choice but to toss it out. Then, you’ll have to head back to the grocery store to buy more.
Now that grocery prices are steeper than ever, you’ll want to avoid wasting food for the sake of your finances. You’ll want to keep your food edible for as long as possible so that you get a chance to eat it—and of course, get your money’s worth. How can you help your food last longer?
Store It the Right Way
Proper storage can keep perishable items from perishing too quickly. For instance, don’t blend your fruits and vegetables together in the fridge. Fruits like apples and pears release a gas called ethylene which can make surrounding fruits and vegetables ripen, and eventually, rot. So, keep those items separate. Look up general food storage tips to make sure that you’re putting items away properly.
A great way to keep perishable items edible for much longer is to shove them in the freezer. So, if you have a loaf of bread that you’re not sure you’ll use in the next few days, don’t leave it on the counter to get stale and grow mold. Put it in the freezer. You can pull out slices when you’re ready to eat them.
Here are some other foods you can store in the freezer:
- Coffee beans/coffee grounds
- Raw meat
Tidy Your Kitchen
Is your fridge so cluttered with stuff that you can’t see what’s hiding in the back? This is how things will go bad without you even realizing it. Tidy your fridge, cupboards and pantry so that you know exactly what you have.
Make Shopping Lists
Before you go grocery shopping, take inventory of the items already in your kitchen. Then, write down a list of what you need to buy. This simple step will stop you from buying items that you don’t need and from buying doubles of what you already have.
Get Shelf-Stable Alternatives
Whenever possible, choose shelf-stable foods instead of their perishable counterparts. For example, instead of getting fresh tomatoes to make pasta later in the week, get tinned tomatoes. Those fresh tomatoes could go bad before you even get a chance to cook them. The tinned tomatoes will stay in top condition for months.
Revive Not-So-Fresh Food
Sometimes, food isn’t rotten, but you decide to throw it out because it’s not in top condition. This isn’t always necessary. You can still save some ingredients instead of tossing them out.
Bruised and black bananas can go in the freezer. Use them for smoothies or batches of banana bread later on. Leftover rice is great for stir-frys. Stale bread can be turned into crispy croutons. Bake overripe apples into a pie or crumble. As long as the food is still edible, you can find a way to use it.
Why Should You Make These Changes?
Not making adjustments to your food spending could push your budget to the very edge and give you some serious financial problems to contend with. One problem that could give you a lot of unnecessary stress is getting hit with an urgent expense but having nothing in your savings account to cover it. You’ll be scrambling to figure out how to pay it off.
In that scenario, you don’t have to panic. There are still some solutions out there. You can turn to one of your credit cards as a backup plan. Use the one that has the lowest balance and charge the urgent expense to it. You can focus on paying the balance down later on.
Another option that you can turn to in an emergency is a loan. You don’t have to book an appointment at your nearest bank branch. You can head to a website like CreditFresh to see whether you meet all of the requirements for a fast personal loan with a quick application process. With all of the requirements met, you can fill out the loan application online. It shouldn’t take too long. It could take you under 10 minutes to fill out and submit.
If your application gets approved, you could access temporary funds to cover your emergency expense. Similar to a credit card, you will get a chance to make repayments after the problem is resolved.
Wasting food isn’t just a bad habit. It’s a financial problem. Follow these tips so that you can save your groceries and save money at the same time.