Save Money by Making the Most of the Food You Buy

Save Money by Making the Most of Your FoodSave Money by Making the Most of Your FoodBy: Juliana Weiss-Roessler

We've all found that tub of moldy cream cheese that got lost at the back of the fridge or gone to eat the pear you purchased at the market and found that it had already gone bad. Did you know that the average four-person household in the United States wastes about $600 worth of food a year? Imagine what you could do with that extra cash! All you need to do is make full use of the food you buy. Don't let it go to waste and you'll be saving big:

Eat leftovers.


It sounds simple enough, but there are many reasons why we don't do it. Find a system that works for you. Keep enough Tupperware around, so that storing the food is easy. Label containers, and don't forget to include the date. It can also be helpful to have a marker board on the fridge where you can keep track of what you have.

Find new uses for those leftovers.


Don't feel like eating grilled chicken again? Top it with some marinara sauce and cheese to make chicken parmigiana. Sick of tacos? Use the ingredients to make nachos instead. Be creative, and you won't get bored eating the same thing again and again.

Freeze.


Didn't use the entire package of tortillas when you made burritos? Don't let it sit in the fridge drawer until the next time you feel like making that meal again. Instead, prolong their life by freezing! You may be surprised how many things freeze well if you store them in freezer-safe bags: bread, cheese, ground meat, even flour!

Visit the supermarket more frequently.


If your grocery store is close by, try buying just for the next day or two instead of buying food for the next week or two. It will help you to keep track of what food you have. It's hard to forget about that fresh fruit you bought if it's one of the few things in the fridge! And if you've found you bought more food that you actually needed, no problem! None of it has had time to go bad yet.

Make a list.


Avoid impulse buys by planning your meals out in advance. Don't purchase more than you need! You can be flexible once you get to the store. If you notice that broccoli is on sale, you can switch that out for the asparagus you planned to make. But at least, you'll have a game plan to start from.

Feed your dog.


Don't have enough left over to bother saving it? Use it as a snack for your pet. Many human foods are perfectly fine for your dog to consume in moderation, but be aware of what items to avoid. Foods that are fatty or heavily spiced, chocolate, avocados, macadamia nuts, coffee, and onions are just a few items that you should never feed to your dog. Foods that contain salt can be unsafe for older pooches, and of course, never feed your dog moldy or spoiled foods. Consult your vet if you're unsure about what items are safe.

Display your fruits and vegetables.


Fresh produce is easy to forget about, and it only takes a few days to go from delicious to inedible. Don't let it go to waste in your fridge drawers; place it in a decorative bowl in the center of the kitchen table where you'll be more likely to grab it for a quick snack.

Separate out portions.

Did you buy a large package of chicken, but you only need a few breasts for this week? Divide it up into separate containers and put half in the freezer for later. Do it right when you get back from the store, so you don't forget.

Start a compost.


No matter what you do, no one is perfect. There's bound to be some food that goes bad before you can use it. So save on fertilizer by creating a compost in your backyard!

Whether you're a money saving expert or a newbie to frugal living, Quizzle.com can help you save BIG on life's largest expenses. At Quizzle, you can find out how to get out of debt faster, improve your credit and make better choices for a more secure financial future.

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