When you’re doing your grocery shopping, it’s easy to buy too much of one thing and then let it go to waste. This happens especially in the cases of vegetables and fruit. Fresh organic items, also, are prone to going bad very quickly. Unless you’re intending to cook the items you’re buying immediately, chances are they might go to waste. This is a phenomenon that’s more common than you might first think. It’s also a huge waste of money, since you’re basically throwing away cash with your grocery bill. Here are three ways to shop for food and make sure none of it goes to waste.
Sell by Dates Are Important
Pay attention to sell by and expiration dates. Although some items can remain in storage for longer than the expiration date as long as they’re properly sealed or refrigerated, as the case may be, many cannot. If you don’t use certain items, such as fresh meat or dairy, before their expiration date, chances are you’ll be affronted with a very bad smell. When you buy these types of items, look for ones with the latest sell by date. In the case of most items, it should be at least one or two weeks away from the current date. One fatal mistake that many shoppers make is buying food that has a sell by date only a few days away. This means, in effect, that you have a very short amount of time to consume the item. Pay attention to these dates and ensure that you have ample time to use the food.
When to Buy in Bulk
There are times when buying in bulk might be tempting because of a major sale going on. It’s not always a good idea, though, and can result in a huge amount of wasted money. A good time to buy in bulk is during sales on non-perishable items, like beverages and canned soup. On the other hand, if there’s a sale for chicken per pound, don’t buy three pounds of it unless you plan on making it immediately. The only other options is to freeze the meat, which is a good approach to saving it, but make sure you realize how much food you’re actually purchasing. Don’t just buy things indiscriminately because they happen to be on sale, because it could actually cost you more in the long run.
Taking Food to Work
A great way to make sure food isn’t wasted is to make a point of taking leftovers to work. It requires a little more preparation, but you save money in two ways. On the one hand, you’re not wasting a single bit of food that you already bought. Additionally, you’re not spending money on buying lunch out. This is a double value, and it’s also more healthy. Cooking for yourself and eating home cooked is always vastly superior to eating something from a takeout restaurant, or even the work cafeteria. It also gives you a sense of self sufficiency, which can actually give you a boost at your job. The higher the quality of the food you consume, the better mental energy you’ll have. If you’re going to have leftovers, don’t let them languish in the fridge either. That’s also tupperware you’ll have to hassle with washing. Overall, wasting food is wasteful on multiple levels that are worth preventing with a little extra attention.