Minimise waste and cut your grocery bill | General


For many people in the world, food waste has become a habit: buying more food than we need at the shops, letting fruits and vegetables spoil at home or taking larger portions than we can eat. With the rising cost of food, we need to be able to do more with less, and less may not necessarily mean less to eat, but less waste. In South Africa, 10 million tons of food are disposed of, and while some of this is along the production line, it is also in our homes. Today we look at how we can minimize our waste while cutting our grocery bill at the same time.


Plan your meals: Create a weekly meal plan and make a shopping list based on the meals you intend to prepare. This helps you buy only what you need.


Proper storage: Store food properly to maintain its freshness. Use airtight containers, freezer bags, or wraps to prevent spoilage.


First in, first out: Practice the "first in, first out" method when organizing your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Place newer food items behind older ones to ensure you use the older items first before they expire.


Portion control: Be mindful of the portion sizes you serve to avoid leftovers that may go uneaten. Start with smaller portions and allow people to take seconds if they want more.


Use leftovers creatively: Get creative with leftovers and incorporate them into new dishes. Leftover vegetables can be turned into soups, stews, or stir-fries, and leftover proteins can be used in sandwiches, salads, or casseroles. Experiment and have fun!


Freeze excess food: If you have extra food that you can't consume before it goes bad, freeze it. Freezing can help preserve the food's freshness and extend its shelf life.


Understand expiration dates: Learn to differentiate between "sell-by," "use-by," and "best-by" dates on food labels. These dates are not always an indicator of food safety but rather suggest the quality or peak freshness of the product. Use your judgment and sensory evaluation to determine if food is still good to eat.


Remember, small changes in our daily habits can have a significant impact on reducing food waste and allowing us to consume all we buy instead of disposing of it.