Covid 19, unpredicted climate changes, conflicts among countries are all leading to increase in global price and shortage of food and other essentials. Each one of us are trying to reduce the expenses in our daily life. Cutting back on things are first thing which comes to our minds, which is of course essential but that does not mean we have to compromise on a healthy and nutritious diet.
Being a responsible shopper and trying to save money not only reduces wastage of food but also reduces the pressure on our natural resources and ensures access of food to all in need.
Here, we share 12 tips on how we can reduce food wastage and do a responsible grocery shopping which will help you reduce food wastage as well as save money.
Get yourself organised
Check already what you have and try to arrange the food in your fridge and pantry according to the expiry date. It will give you information of what you already have and can make your shopping much easier and reduce wastage great extent.
Make a menu planning for a month or at least for two weeks, when you plan include the food items which are about to expire. Make a list of necessary items for the planned menu and buy accordingly.
Store your food right
Small changes in storing your food can help you store it much longer
for example, keeping onions and potatoes away from each other while storing, keeping broccoli and cauliflower in water after chopping their bottoms off, storing lettuce in a paper towel can help you keep them fresh.
Bread is in among the most thrown away food, storing the excess bread in the freezer and using only the needed amount can actually stop wastage of breads.
Eating too much to avoid food wastage does not help you with cutting cost or being healthy. Make it a habit to write a shopping list and do not buy extra and cook only as much you need even though cooking more and keeping it for another two meals makes sense in time managing but disciplined leftover management is required for a healthy life.
Stock up seasonally and freeze
Freezer is the best solution for budget management in groceries. The aim is to buy seasonal foods and store them in freezer for long term use.
You could buy tomato, broccoli, carrots, beans etc during summer and store. Once thawed they won’t be useful for making salads but for cooking purpose, they would be ideal than canned products.
Reduce meat consumption
Production of meat requires huge inputs and meats products belong to the expensive food category, which makes them the most important food which should not be wasted.
Industrial meat production methods seem inefficient when compared to its impacts as they are mostly cruel to animals and is also a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and in addition also pollutes soil and water sources.
Reducing the meat consumption to a handful meals per week and using alternatives to meat could not only reduce your expenses but also reduce personnel impact in your food print.
Turn leftovers to meal and don’t forget the two-hour rule
Do research on turning your leftovers to meal. Find recipes and include them in your menu planning.
Leaving perishable food or leftovers for more than 2 hours at room temperature can spoil your food unless kept hot or cold. So, keep in mind to keep your food in fridge or heat it up on right time.
Try composting your kitchen waste
How much ever you try to reduce the food waste there are unavoidable waste at the end of the day, but the remaining waste such as peels and scraps could be composted and can use them as natural fertilizer for your garden.
A compost bin is all you need for creating compost. All your food scraps can be used for this but remember to include dry waste from your garden like small branches, dried leaves etc for an evenly cooked compost.
Grow your own food
Along with your indoor gardens, making a small kitchen garden with few herbs like mint, parsley, coriander, thyme in small pots would be refreshing to the home and you could easily snip off few springs for your daily use, plus there is no more a need to buy herbs from supermarket for a few springs and throwing away the rest.
Decode the sell by labels
It is important for each consumer to understand the food labels. For example, the ‘use by’, ‘sell by’ or the ‘best by’ labels mean necessarily nothing as stated by Kellogg. They are mostly dates guessed by manufactures to indicate the duration at which their product is of best quality according to the sensory attributes which means they are still good after the labelled dates, but many consumers consider this as date after which if you consume, could get sick which motivates them to throw away the food.
Cooking from scratch
Cooking from scratch does not necessarily mean making every single thing in home as some believe. Making homemade seasoning, instant potato fries or tomato paste can all be considered in this.
Everyone is busy in their own life it is understandable for the need of convenient food as no one’s got the time to prepare every day. But when you have free time preparing these small items and storing it will make you feel better and relaxed and saves money
Cut down on restaurant meals and try Sharing when dining out.
We all dine out with others more than twice a month mostly. The portion we receive is sometimes more than enough for us. In situations as such, sharing the portion with your family and friends can cut down the price to half, ensure no food wastage and increase your bond with them.
Be consistent and keep inspiring yourself and others
Taking each step towards reducing waste and responsible shopping is as much important as being consistent in your every step. Try to keep doing the steps that you have already taken. Remember it’s not about how many times you tried it’s about how consistent you are that will change your life.
Sharing your stories would motivate others, inspire yourself to be consistent and do more to be a responsible shopper
BE RESPONSIBLE – SAVE MORE – WASTE LESS – INSPIRE OTHERS