Keeping a family grocery budget reasonable can be pretty challenging…especially when the kids are going through a growth spurt!
But if you’re looking for ways to save a little more on groceries, making sure your food lasts as long as possible is a must.
After all, throwing out food is basically throwing away money…and nobody wants to do that!
Luckily, there are ways to make your family’s favourite foods last longer, so try these 4 tips to help minimize waste and save more on groceries.
One of the best ways to ensure food doesn’t go to waste is to freeze it. And for a busy family, the small freezer compartment in your refrigerator probably isn’t going to do the job.
Instead, consider investing in a larger deep freezer to increase the amount of food that you can keep. This can be a great way to store garden vegetables or stock up during a good sale.
Just don’t forget to do your research as you fill the freezer! You might be wondering, can you freeze Wagyu beef? How long does frozen bread stay fresh?
Make sure to look up storage details on the meat and produce you freeze, and then mark your packages so you know when to use the food.
Fill the Pantry
When it comes to saving money on groceries, the pantry can be your best friend. Dried and canned goods are usually cheap, and last almost indefinitely.
Consider waiting for case-lot sales and then stocking up on your family’s favourites. You may be surprised by how much you can save, and how healthy pantry food can be!
For example, dried beans and lentils are a delicious and affordable source of protein. Canned tomatoes and corn are perfect for throwing into a homemade stew. And brown rice and quinoa provide fiber and whole grains.
Check the Expiration Date
There’s nothing worse than having food spoil before getting the chance to use it. And checking expiration dates can be a good way to avoid that.
Dairy products, especially, can be susceptible to early spoilage, so getting a jug of milk or container of cottage cheese that lasts a few extra days really can make a difference.
That being said, there are also many products that are still fine to use past the “best before” date.
In general, if the food still looks and smells fine, you can likely use it with no worries.
Store Extras Properly
It’s a fact of life that half-finished food tends to go bad sooner. But you can minimize any potential waste with proper storage!
Use clips to close open packages of chips, crackers, or other dry goods. Leftovers from meals should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
And don’t forget those fruits and vegetables! Partially used onions, peppers, and other produce will last for quite a while if you wrap the cut surface before putting it back in the fridge.
To minimize food waste even more, try starting a simple meal plan. It will help you only buy groceries you need, reducing the chance of food going bad before you use it.
Groceries may be a big part of the monthly budget, but with a little effort and planning, it’s possible to ensure that your food lasts longer.
And that means you’ll be able to spend less, and add a bit more to family savings!