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How Much of Your Food is Spoiling?

We've all been there: it's another week, another run to the grocery store.

You have the go-to shopping list that you've used as long as you can remember.

But how much of that food are you throwing away week after week?

The USDA reports that about 30% of food is either spoiled or sent to landfills. According to the US Department of Labor, American households spend on average $4,363 per year on food costs.

This means families are spending $1,309 (that's $109 per month or $25 per week) on food that either ends up spoiled or thrown out.

Think of all the things that you can do with $1,309! Maybe you can use that amount to go on a vacation or pay down a credit card bill that's been stressing you out.

Regardless of what you're spending on groceries right now and how it compares to the statistics above, if you make better choices when buying groceries this will allow you to use the money you work so hard for more efficiently.

Here are some helpful tips to help you cut down food costs:

  • Make a list of what you'll buy before you go grocery and stick to that list when you're there.

  • Learn how to store your fruits and vegetables. I found a helpful article from The Penny Hoarder that talks about how to store your fruits and veggies.

  • Plan a menu for the week that uses things you already have in your pantry and what you're buying for the week.

  • If you purchase in bulk, consider if bulk-purchasing makes sense for you. Maybe your children have gone to school and you're cooking less. Maybe there is an item that no one eats anymore that you can remove from your regular.

  • If you have leftovers from dinner, bring lunch to work or create a second dinner using what you have. This tip can also be a time-saver since some of the food is already prepared and needs heating up.

These are just some ways you can use to work on your mindful spending habits. If all fails, think about setting a budget for grocery spend and track your spending for a month. This will allow you to get an understanding of your spending habits and see which of the tips above you can try out.

If there are any questions that you want to ask me, I'm happy to answer. Feel free to contact me or submit your question here for a chance to be featured in the "Dear Olga" column!

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