Save money: Don’t waste food

Other than the fresh stuff: eggs, bread, milk, fruits and veggies, could you go the whole month just using up the stuff you already have at home?



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It’s a sad reality that we throw out tons of food every year. While so much of the world in accelerating towards a food crisis, Toronto tosses out 17.5 million kilograms of food every month. A U.K. study estimates that the Brits dump about ten billion pounds (sterling) of food a year. And it’s been estimated that more than a quarter of all edible food in the U.S. doesn’t get eaten.

Some people eschew leftovers completely. They’re the people with more money than imagination. You can take leftover chicken and make a chicken-Caesar, or pair it with a taco shell, some cheese and some salsa. You can take left over roast and make it into beef pies with a few veggies and a pie-shell. Don’t treat leftovers like a red-headed step-child. Find a way to use those ingredients in something that is delicious and heartwarming and save some money.

It may mean you have to take up a new skill: meal planning. But that’s not such a bad thing. Meal planning will not only save you money, it can save you time because you don’t have to stand in front of the open fridge door musing, “Hmm, what shall we have for dinner tonight?” And it’ll save you from ordering in and driving-thru, which will keep even more money in your pocket.

This month, plan to use up your reserves. Dig through the freezer. Empty the pantry. Use up what you’ve got. Of the money you end up not spending, put 1/3 back into your budget to restock essentials you’ve used up, and use the rest to give your emergency fund a boost (or a kick-start as the case may be.)

4 comments on “Save money: Don’t waste food

  1. Simple, savvy advice from Gail as per usu. LOL red headed step child, appreciate the tips and tricks Gail.


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  4. One of the reasons many people don't finish their leftovers is the "now what night was this made, again?" If you're following your meal plan to the letter, it's not so much a problem, but when you have unexpected leftovers, I find it helpful to use a trick I learned working at Starbucks:

    Put dates on EVERYTHING.

    Keep masking tape and a Sharpie in the kitchen and just stick that date on the container before you throw it in the fridge. If you want to get real fancy you can buy labels that wash off in the dishwasher, but masking tape works fine for me.


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