SHOP FOR WHAT'S LEFT
Do you have half an onion or a quarter bottle of mustard left over from a previous recipe? Think about or research recipes in advance that would take advantage of these items and then buy only the ingredients you are missing.
Before you shop for groceries, make sure you have a list. Better still, have a meal plan for the coming days to ensure you get the most from what you buy. In your plan, be sure to account for leftovers or nights eating out.
Failing that, at least try not to be too impulsive when you shop for food. These impulse buys are often things you will not usually eat and will wind up going to waste.
BUY JUST ENOUGH
Buy enough groceries for a few days, not the whole week (most perishable food will last just a week). Try to buy what’s in season. If you keep track of what you’re buying and throwing away, you should have a good idea of what amount to buy. Buying more than this usually means excess spending on excess food that spoils and ends up in the bin.
If you do want to buy extra food ‘just in case’, it would be better to get items with a long shelf-life like dry grains or meat you can freeze.
BE SMART WITH PROMOS
Find an attractive deal at the store? No, don’t skip it.
But if you’re already getting that 2-for-1 batch of grapes, you may want to consider skipping those full-price oranges which are already on your grocery list. This way, you’ll actually get a great deal on grapes rather than spend extra on fruit that you end up throwing away.
UNDERSTAND DATE LABELS
To help you out, here’s a quick breakdown of what all those dates mean.
Best by: This is the date past which food companies think their product is no longer at its best quality. Though it’s still edible, the date encourages you buy a fresher batch.
Sell by: This date is more for retailers and tells them when to pull products off their displays and order more.
Use by: On infant formula, this is the date past which the product should no longer be consumed. On other food products, it’s a recommendation by the manufacturer. Food will usually still be edible past this date, even if it’s no longer at its best.
Most food items which have gone a little past the date on the label will still be edible if they have been stored properly and are used immediately.
And remember: your eyes and nose are more reliable indicators of whether something is edible than any date label.
LOVE UGLY PRODUCE
Fruit and vegetables that have odd shapes or colours are usually just as nutritious as normal-looking ones. Support grocers that sell them (usually at a discount) and you’ll enjoy their full goodness without having to pay full price.
HANDLE WITH CARE
Be careful when choosing produce. Aggressive prodding and squeezing may bruise or otherwise damage the food, making it impossible to sell.
HERE ARE MORE WAYS YOU CAN SAVE 1/3