Some things just belong together: peanut butter and jelly, peaches and cream, milk and cookies. But there’s one more perfect match we can really get behind: saving money on groceries and reducing food waste. Find out how you can tackle both at once with these useful five tips.
- Shop the weekly flyers.
- Plan your meals ahead of time.
- Reduce, reuse, reuse, reuse.
- Get creative with substitutions.
- Try five-ingredient recipes.
Don’t toss out those weekly flyers from your local grocer. You can mix and match a week’s meals out of sale items to keep your menu rotations fresh and save big. Stock up on goodies like fresh meat and herbs to freeze for later, but be judicious when it comes to buying fresh produce like berries and leafy greens. They’ll only last a few days. Look for BOGO (that’s Buy One, Get One to those in the coupon club) offers on frozen fruits and veggies. They don’t spoil, are fantastic in a pinch and are frozen at their peak of freshness.
Mom was right: The eyes are bigger than the stomach, and nothing screams food waste more than going to the grocery store with big eyes, an empty stomach and no game plan. Sure those bananas look great on the shelf, but are you really going to eat that whole bunch and the bag of pears in your cart in a week? You can cut down on wasted food and wasted money if you map out meals ahead of time and shop from your list.
Looking to reduce your grocery bill and clear up some fridge space? Master the art of the leftover. If you bake chicken for dinner on Monday, plan to make chicken salad or chicken noodle soup on Tuesday. Stumped on an item? Search online recipes by ingredient keyword for new ideas. This will keep your grocery list short and your waste in check.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Many ingredients can be swapped out for others or made at home. Instead of buying a whole carton of buttermilk for a pancake recipe that only calls for a half cup, try curdling milk with lemon or vinegar for the same effect. You’d be surprised how far you can stretch your pantry in a pinch.
As the old saying goes, “Keep it simple, stupid.” There’s nothing simpler than delicious meals you can whip up with just five ingredients. You can find some great recipes here and impress your friends with waste-free shrimp tostadas in no time. Even better? Your wallet with thank you.
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Not sure how you waste food? Take our five-step challenge and start saving today.