Saving Money on Groceries Starts in the Kitchen

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The great thing about raising lifelong learners is the chance to role rodel lifelong learning! Here is a copy of a 5 minute speech I had to give for a class I took on becoming a better communicator. I also get to role model doing hard things, public speaking still makes my stomach go into knots.

Saving money on groceries starts in the kitchen!

With the average family of 4 spending $12,000 a year on groceries this becomes a popular area to try and cut spending. The interesting thing about that amount of money, around $1500 goes toward wasted food.

That’s right money spent on food that is never eaten or enjoyed. The food ends up in the trashcan.

We do not even have to leave our house to save money on groceries. No need to cut coupons or read about the psychology of shopping. Just take an honest look at the amount of food you throw away each week.

I believe every mom can save money on groceries by conquering food waste.

I have 3 concepts that can help conquer food waste:

  • Serving
  • Selecting
  • Supervising

The first concept that can help conquer food waste is serving sizes.

For adults having an understanding for portion sizes. Spend a week reading the labels and get an understanding for portion sizes.

For parents of small children serve them just 3 bites of dinner. Children under the age of 5 have this amazing ability to only eat 3 bites of a meal one day and then eat an entire adult serving the next day.

When my children were young I often only served half of a sandwich at lunchtime or 3 bites of a meal at dinnertime.

I wanted my children to learn to ask for more when they were still hungry rather then learn it was ok to throw food away.

The second concept that can help conquer food waste is selecting recipes that contain similar ingredients. Keep your recipes simple.

I love looking on Pinterest for new recipes. But it can break the budget trying a recipe with a lot of ingredients. For example I avoid recipes that use 1 tablespoon of tomato paste because unless you have a plan to use the rest of the can of paste you will find yourself 2 weeks later throwing the tomato paste in the trashcan.

The great thing about cooking is you can have a little less or a little extra of an ingredient and the recipe will still turn out fine.

Trying meal planning where you can use ingredients twice in the same week or you can double the recipe to help use up all of an ingredient.

The third concept that can help conquer food waste is supervisor what is in the refrigerator.

The best method to supervise the refrigerator is the FIFO method. (First In First Out) When you go grocery shopping do not put all the new food in the front of the fridge. Take the time to pull the food from the back to the front and place the new items in the back of the fridge.

I know this is a tough habit to learn. By the time you are at this stage of putting things in the refrigerator you are done with the whole shopping experience. But pulling the old food to the front helps you to see what needs to be eaten in the next few days.

You must keep an eye on when food is beginning to go bad. If you know the potatoes have been in the cabinet for 10 days then tonight is the night for mashed potatoes. If the milk is on the verge of souring, make pudding for dessert. Make one night of the week leftover night or freeze them for lunches.

The next time you are standing at your trash can throwing out food take a moment to calculate the cost. How much money did you just throw away?

By mastering the serving sizes, selection of simple recipes and supervising the refrigerator you can save money each week. As a mom of 4 kids I can tell you that an extra $1500 a year in my budget means less hours I have to work and more time to spend with my kids.

 

 

This post may contain AFFILIATE LINKS. Clicking through these links help to support the costs involved in running this blog and sometimes can help with other expenses. You can find my full disclosure under the DISCLOSURE TAB. Thanks!

Comments

  1. Oh, I so agree with these! I need to work on supervising the refrigerator more. I hate our side by side because everything gets stuck in the deep back. Visiting from #BreakthruLinkup! Blessings! (Pinned and tweeted!)

  2. Thank you Stacey for making me think more concretely about the food we eat. My children “left the nest” a long time ago but there’s good food for thought here for my husband and I. The one thing I would add here would be the value of maintaining a compost pile. We were away camping for a month and the thing I missed most was our compost pile. It really bugged me that our food waste (mainly peelings from food prep) was being wasted! 🙃

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