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9 Ways You’re Wasting Money On Food

In the face of rising food prices projected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it’s more crucial than ever to be mindful of your grocery spending. Laura Poland, RDN, owner of Dietitian in Your Kitchen, suggests that being savvy with your choices can keep your home costs under control. Discover nine ways you may unknowingly be wasting money on food, and how a little planning can help you eat well without breaking the bank.

Stop wasting money on food
Ways to save money
  1. Embrace Meal Prep for Savings: Cooking at home is a substantial money-saver, with the USDA predicting higher prices for food-away-from-home in 2023. Studies reveal that those who cook most nights spend an average of $57 less monthly. Meal planning not only saves money but also improves diet quality, cutting down on impulse buys. Explore our meal planning guide for more insights.
  2. Shop Smart by Checking Your Pantry: Regularly inventorying your pantry and fridge can prevent unnecessary food waste and save money. Avoid buying duplicates by creating a grocery list based on what you already have. Consider a designated “clean-out-the-pantry” day to get creative with your meals.
  3. Keep Greens Fresh: Extend the freshness of delicate greens by lining storage containers with paper towels to absorb moisture. For heartier greens, like kale and collards, opt for premade salad kits with longer shelf lives. Don’t let greens go to waste – turn them into pesto or freeze them for later use.
  4. Transform Scraps into Flavorful Broth: Don’t discard vegetable scraps; transform them into homemade broth. Freeze trimmings like leek tops and onion skins in a zip-top bag. Use the broth in soups, chili, and sauces to add flavor and save money on store-bought alternatives.
  5. Opt for Plant-Based Proteins: Shifting to a plant-based diet can be cost-effective and beneficial for health. Plant-based proteins like lentils and tofu are more budget-friendly than animal proteins. Explore whole, minimally processed foods for optimal savings and health benefits.
  6. Embrace the Microwave for Energy Efficiency: Save money on energy bills by using the microwave, which is more efficient than conventional ovens. From toasting nuts to steaming fish and veggies, the microwave is a versatile and energy-saving kitchen tool.
  7. Ignore Strict Use-By Dates: Challenge the notion of strict use-by dates imposed by manufacturers. Unless food shows signs of spoilage, it’s likely safe to eat beyond these dates. Freeze items nearing expiration to extend their shelf life, consulting the FDA guide for freezing recommendations.
  8. Ditch Disposables for Reusables: Reduce kitchen waste and expenses by switching from disposable to reusable items. Brands like Stasher bags and Abeego beeswax wraps offer eco-friendly alternatives that save money in the long run.
  9. DIY Kitchen Staples: Experiment with making kitchen staples from scratch to cut costs. Items like bread, granola, and pasta sauce are surprisingly easy to make at home. Challenge your coffee shop habit by brewing your own coffee for significant savings.

Conclusion: Being mindful of your food choices and adopting these money-saving practices can make a significant impact on your grocery bill and your health. Smart planning, efficient kitchen practices, and a focus on sustainability can help you eat well without overspending.

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