It is good enough to say that all consumers love two things, to save money and food. But does the two go hand in hand with each other? For big families, grocery shopping can sometimes push you out of your budget. Even worse enough is the money which is goes wasted on food due to the fact that it was not eaten on time. Food that directly goes into the trash can is wasted food and in other words, it is your wasted money as well.
As per the US Department of Agriculture, 40% of all food in the United States of America goes uneaten in a day. Business development manager, Mark Walter says that the percentage of wasted food includes food which gets bad even during its production and much before it reaches the grocery stores. It still sums up to 20 pounds of food wasted per person every month. This means for a family of 4 people, this means $2200 worth of food wasted every year.
What can consumers do to stop wasting food and money?
- Figure out your shopping habits and plan before shopping
Judy Knudsen suggests consumers to cross-check their refrigerators before leading themselves to the grocery stores and checking on the things which you already have at your home. This helps you buy multiples and also decreases the chances of your vegetables being thrown off. If you have a habit of throwing off food, you can make a list of all that you dispose in a week and compare it against your current shopping list. Vegetables and fruits get bad faster than other foods. So, shoppers should be aware of how they should use their food.
- Check your fridge often and the temperature of the freezer
Experts say that cold temperatures don’t destroy microorganisms which cause the food to spoil but they can slow them down considerably. You should ensure that your refrigerators are kept either at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, as per instructions from the US Food and Drug Administration. On the other hand, freezers should be kept at 0 degrees. As food deteriorates faster when they’re stored at higher temperatures, you should set the right temperature.
- Take steps to extend the life of groceries
Did you ever ponder about keeping onions inside the pantyhose? Or hiding your mushrooms inside paperbags? If you can store certain specific foods in certain ways, this can extend their life. You can get enough ways of preventing food from spoiling way ahead of time if you search online.
- Remain aware of the printed dates
Knudsen said that shoppers need to be diligent and careful enough about checking and double-checking the printed dates on food items while they’re kept in the store. Take note of the ‘sell by’ and ‘expiration’ dates which are very important. Expiration dates don’t mean that food become inedible soon after. It just notifies the customer that the product has reached its peak.
Therefore, if you’re thinking of saving money on food by saving your dollars on groceries, you should follow the above mentioned tips and strategies. Continue saving money so that you can build an emergency fund.