Tasty food is a luxury everyone enjoys. However, in uncertain financial times, there is a tendency to rein in spending and sacrifice pleasure. So how can we continue to enjoy our culinary treats without skimping on portions or breaking the bank?

Australians waste around 20% of all food they purchase. In other words, for every five bags of groceries we buy, one bag is tossed in the garbage. This equates to the average Australian household throwing away more than $1,000 worth of food every year.

Wasteful food choices are not only bad for your bank balance, they are also damaging to the environment. Wasting food means you are depleting Australia of valuable water resources that went into growing it. Also, 40% of every garbage bag tossed out is organic matter that will rot as landfill, creating methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more damaging to the environment than the fumes emanating from your car exhaust.

There are various reasons why food is wasted. In a time-poor society we tend to shop for food whimsically, cook too much, ignore storage options, and have no idea how to use leftovers. 

Here are some tips to help you save money by using food wisely.

Plan your menus

This is an extremely effective way to minimise waste and save money. It’s easier than you may think, and can educate your entire family regarding healthy food choices. Most families enjoy one main meal together every day, and your partner or children probably have plenty of ideas regarding menu preferences.

Recipe websites are a wealth of information, and you’ll be surprised just how versatile some ingredients are. Shopping will also be a breeze when you know what you’re going to buy, rather than loading your trolley with disassociated oddments and spur of the moment snacks.

Use leftovers

Thrifty housekeeping is not a sign of poverty. On the contrary, it’s an important foundation for wealth creation. Leftovers are nothing more than ingredients waiting to become something special, and using them wisely will save you a bundle of cash over the span of a year. Here are three simple ideas:

  • Blitz stale bread into breadcrumbs to add to pastas or salads.
  • Sliced, frozen bananas are perfect for smoothies or a healthy treat on a hot day. 
  • Mashed leftover veggies create crispy brown vegetarian patties that can become the star of a gourmet burger. 

Grow your own

Harvesting fresh produce from garden to kitchen is healthy, rewarding, organic and a clever way to save money by using food wisely. A small garden plot can reap huge financial dividends, with estimations that every $50 spent on seeds (including fertiliser) reaps over $1,000 worth of ready to eat produce. 

Making wise food choices is a win-win scenario for your finances, family health, social responsibility and environmental sustainability for the entire planet. 

More Information:

Foodwise website www.foodwise.com.au

This article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information.