You shouldn’t have to file bankruptcy just to feed yourself and your family. Food, even basic food products seem to keep growing in price. Here’s five tips that will help you to keep your refrigerator full, as well as your wallet.
Know What You Consume and What You Toss
What do you typically eat? What do you usually end up throwing away? Before doing anything, you should have a good idea of the food habits of your household.
For example, if you find that you make a lot of dishes using chicken, then maybe chicken is something you should stock up on. If you throw away a lot of fruits because they sit too long, then maybe you should buy less fruit, or learn new ways to make use of them. Knowing these things will help you to figure out where you’re wasting money.
Create a Food Budget and Stick to It
You should make sure to create a budget just for food. For example, start with a specific amount of money you plan to spend each week or month strictly on food. Knowing what you will spend will help you to track your spending.
A budget will also help you to figure out what food items you should spend your money on. You will automatically seek out better deals, rather than spend money on stuff you don’t need, or stuff that typically goes uneaten.
Plan Out Your Meals in Advance
You can easily plan your meals for an entire week, or month, and then stick to that plan. If you write it all down, you can shop with a focus on purchasing just those things you will need. Many people go to the grocery store without a plan and end up purchasing far more than they need.
It’s also easy to become distracted while shopping as grocery stores will place many items right in your line of sight. Don’t become tempted by sales and deals that won’t actually benefit you or your household. Remember, just because it’s on sale, doesn’t mean that you need it. Stick to the plan.
Learn to Store Food Properly
People lose a lot of food because of bad storage habits. If you find yourself throwing out food all the time, then there’s a good chance you aren’t storing it properly.
Keep in mind the more food you throw out, the more you will have to spend to replace it. Keep that money in your pocket by figuring out better ways to store food and leftovers.
- Keep fruits and vegetables separate
- Make use of items before they expire
- Seal all leftovers in airtight containers
- Eat your leftovers within four days
- Keep meat, poultry, and fish away from other foods
- Do not let food sit unwrapped in the freezer
If you search around, you’ll find a ton of useful advice concerning the storage of food and how to keep specific food items safe and viable for much longer.
First In, First Out
A core tenant of the restaurant industry is “FiFo,” or first in, first out. It means you should make use of your oldest food items first. If you buy new stuff, then it should go to the back of your refrigerator and shelves, behind the older items.
In this way, you can use up more of your foodstuffs without throwing things out. It will also challenge you to find meals and recipes you can put together with your older items, rather than letting them sit for even longer. This process can help you to save money, while also keeping your fridge full as you rotate your foods.