According to the Love Food Hate Waste website, the average family could save £700 a year, simply by throwing away less food. We throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year from home, costing us £12.5bn a year.
If you go shopping with a list you will probably waste less food and save more money. If you can plan meals ahead, even better. That way you won’t end up buying produce that you won’t use and you’ll be less prone to impulse buys.
This is what I do: I usually don’t plan meals in advance because by the time I get to cook them, often I don’t want to eat that. Yes, I’m fickle like that… But I know what are the family favourites and usually stock up for those. I keep a list on the fridge door and add up as the need arises. In the end, I add chicken, diced beef and frozen fish pie mix or seafood cocktail. Occasionally, I change one of these for turkey steaks or frying beef for example. We don’t eat meat/fish everyday so I only stock up for three or four meat/fish meals per week. I now shop for groceries mostly online and find that shopping this way saves not only time but also money. I use my shopping list and because it’s online I’m less confronted with temptation. As I don’t impulse buy I also reduce waste because I tend to only get what we’ll actually consume.
Tips for planning before shopping:
- Keep a running shopping list. Do this in paper or on your mobile depending on what works best for you.
- Check the cupboard, the fridge and the freezer before going shopping. Do you really need more eggs when you haven’t consumed yet the half a dozen you bought last week? If you have chicken in the freezer, do you really need to buy more chicken?
- Consider the week ahead of you. Are you going to be in all week? If not, buy less.