Mankind produces up to 930 million tons of food waste a year, and more than half of it comes from household garbage cans. And yet customers had to pay for all the spoiled food.
How Often Should You Buy Groceries
Often the advice on saving money is that it’s worth buying groceries once a week globally. This is really convenient, especially when on weekdays the calendar is stuffed with working meetings, studies and children’s circles. But it should be done with care – there is a risk of buying extra groceries in bulk.
Here’s what the statistics say. About half of the fruits and vegetables produced around the world are sent to the landfill. Much of it is lost in shipping and pre-sale rejection. But the buyer also contributes – it’s easy to miss the moment when potatoes bought in advance, sprout and become unfit for food. Another striking example is dairy products. Food waste in this category is provided mainly by end users. This means that milk, cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt most often end up in landfills precisely from household garbage cans. This is also where the money wasted on these products goes.
To save money, you can go to stores and order groceries at least every day. It seems so, even more correct: there is no desire to take five bags of onions at once, if you can be sure that tomorrow you will again do the food shopping. But there are risks here, too. For example, situational stress can incline you to buy sugary snacks, and in snowy weather, searches for pork chops, chocolate chip cookies, meatballs and other hearty foods noticeably increase. As a result, on a cloudy day, you’ll find a share cake in your refrigerator instead of a set of groceries for a full dinner.
Try to plan purchases and strike a balance. For example, you can get some of the long-lasting food once a week, and you can get perishable yogurts or greens as needed.
This scheme will help you avoid anti-stress goodies or nourishing “compensators” of bad weather if you’re more comfortable buying groceries several times a week.
How to Buy Food Correctly
Here you should not look for universal solutions. To come up with a rational algorithm for yourself, you can follow simple steps, which are as simple as betting via 22Bet or cooking your favorite meal.
Step 1: Think Through the Menu for the Week
It is time to buy yourself a dream diary: they are convenient for keeping such food “calendars”. The first step is to write down the main meals and snacks, and then to make notes about the necessary ingredients.
Try to make a varied menu with snacks, and include some vegetables, fruits, nuts, or legumes at every main meal.
For example, a balanced breakfast might consist of grapefruit, poached eggs, whole-grain toast with cheese and a cup of tea or coffee with milk. As a second breakfast, add a couple of oatmeal cookies and a glass of yogurt, and for lunch and dinner, think of interesting combinations with chicken breast, fish, vegetables and cereals. For an evening snack, fruit and berries with yogurt will work.
Step 2: Calculate the Number of Servings
When the dishes are scheduled by day, it’s important to estimate how much is enough. Some people like to cook for 2 or 3 days at once and not to stand at the stove every night, while others prefer to indulge themselves with something new all the time. In any case, it will be great if you can think it through in advance.
To master this system and stop cooking by eye, at first, it’s convenient to use recipes with a designated weight of ingredients. Detailed instructions usually write how many servings a dish is designed for, so you can determine exactly what products and how many will be needed at a time. Over time, it’s easy to customize a familiar menu. For example, reduce portions for children or increase portions for adults.
Step 3: Write a Shopping Plan
Time for a new list. Think about what ingredients and in what quantities you need. Then it’s a good idea to look in the refrigerator. An inventory audit will help you figure out what you can replace what you need. Turkey and chicken, for example, often make decent alternatives to each other.
The right foods may be hiding in more than just the fridge. Try not to forget about the freezer and carefully examine the cabinets with cereals and canned foods: somewhere could be an extra packet of pasta or a package of rice. The kitchen reconnaissance will help to adjust the menu and cross out a few items from the preliminary shopping plan to make the final one short.
Step 4: Prepare for Shopping and Be Vigilant in the Process
A detailed plan is a good guide, but you may encounter triggers along the way of conscious shopping. That’s why it’s a good idea to prepare. For example, get a snack beforehand. If you’re going to the store, choose small baskets rather than shopping carts if possible. With the latter you can walk along the shelves longer, and also the sight of a half-empty cart creates the illusion of an economical hike.
If you prefer to shop online, try to make the most of your mobility. Try to reconcile the prices of promotional items with their counterparts – red price tags don’t always equal really good deals.
Step 5: Don’t Give in to the General Mood
The occasional rush of merchandise can be unsettling. At such times, it’s hard to resist putting another bundle in your basket. Massive excitement around certain products often occurs before holidays or weekends.
Try to assess the situation with a cool head and do not deviate from the planned lists without an urgent need. To make it easier to stay on track, here are a few more things to keep in mind when putting anything unnecessary in the basket:
- Dairy products without preservatives or stabilizers keep from 24 hours to 5 days – it’s best to take exactly as much as you intend for a couple of days.
- Defrosting fish, meat and vegetables takes time and special rules to follow. To avoid mistakes and preserve flavor, buy these ingredients as planned and use them right away.
- Canned goods go bad, too. Especially the ones that sell out on promotions.
- Dressed salads “live” in the fridge for no more than 12 hours: taking more and leaving it in the evening for breakfast is a risky venture.
- Opened cookies and crackers dry out and lose flavor – if you have several packages of different kinds of snacks for tea at home, some of them risk ending their lives in a bucket. Take no more than one treat at a time – it’s cheaper and you won’t have to say goodbye to leftovers.
- Prepared breakfasts can be ordered several at a time, if you eat granola regularly.