Guide to reducing food waste . . . and saving money on your food shopping (Part two)
You’ve seen part one on how to reduce food waste, now read how to save money on your food shopping . . .
The savvy shopper makes a list
Before you even set foot in the shop, plan what you are intending to eat for the week. You don’t have to go as far as actually creating a menu for the whole week but, an idea as to what meals you need will help you avoid buying things you don’t need. That, in turn, will help you save money on your food shopping and will make sure you are reducing your food waste. If you only buy what you need, you won’t be throwing away a load of food at the end of the week that you haven’t used. Planning your meals can also make sure you are using every bit of food you buy to its full potential.
Once you know what meals you are shopping for, create a shopping list, and stick to it. Again, this will save you money because you know what you need and you’ll be able to avoid all those special offers that are there to tempt you to spend more money. Which wrote a very interesting article about misleading bulk buys – it’s worth a read. Make separate lists for your supermarket shopping and what you will buy from the butcher etc.
Give your store cupboard and fridge a makeover by organising them using the FIFO method. It means ‘First in First Out’. Put newly bought food at the back of the cupboard or fridge, making sure the household uses the oldest items first because they are at the front. Supermarkets use this system and call it ‘facing up’. You’ll see staff adding products to the shelves but making sure the newer stock goes in behind. Pretty logical when you think about it!
Freeze any leftovers
When you cook, it might be worthwhile batch cooking your favourite dishes. Things like bolognaise, chili, stew, etc can be cooked in bulk. Then you can portion up the leftovers and pop them in the freezer – homemade ready meals for those days that you really don’t feel like cooking!
Looking for some different batch cooking recipes? Take a look at these ideas from BBC Good Food.
Leftover veg, rice and pasta can also be frozen ready for use next time. It all needs to be cooled down, stored and reheated properly though, so be careful. Alternatively, pop leftover veg in the fridge and then cook the next day with some potato for a yummy bubble and squeak!
Foraging could be an interesting way to save money on the weekly shopping! It has certainly become more and more popular over the last few years. In fact, British Local Food has a very interesting article about what foraging is and what foragers eat. To quote the author of the article ‘Foraging is the act of searching, identifying and collecting food resources in the wild. Those include a wide range of plants, mushrooms, herbs and fruits growing around us uncultivated.’
Countryfile even produces a guide to what is good to go looking for each month along with how to forage responsibly.
However, if you fancy giving foraging a try, you may want to take a course and do some thorough research. Hunting for the right mushrooms to eat, or making sure the berries you are picking are safe to eat, takes experience.
Monica Wilde is considered an expert on foraging in Scotland and her course is recommended by Forestry and Land Scotland. She offers courses to make sure you know what you are looking for as well as the etiquette that surrounds foraging.
Never go shopping on an empty stomach!
The last of our tips on how to make sure you are saving money and reducing food waste is to always make sure you have had something to eat before you go shopping. If you head out hungry, you are more likely to buy items you don’t need because your tummy is doing the shopping for you!
The chance of being ‘hangry’ is another good reason to make sure you aren’t hungry when you are food shopping. If you haven’t heard of the term, then it is when being hungry makes you a little angry – hungry+angry = hangry! Even a little bit of hangriness can make have you wandering down the confectionary aisle quicker than you know it!