Don’t Waste The Crumbs
One-third, this is the amount of the food produced in the world that gets wasted or lost. This is approximately 1.3 billion tons. Figures like this one win consideration from everyone. Indeed, food waste is one of the highest cost in your kitchen budget, and this is a cost that you could reduce with clever tips. But there is more than just food waste in the unnecessary kitchen expenses. Many households are unaware of how much money is wasted every year through their kitchen expenses. Whether you throw away foods too easily without trying to reuse your rests or whether you buy too much, it’s important to change your mindset about what is going on in the kitchen: Every crumb of food is precious. As a result, it is essential to understand how to make the most of your cooking habits and food cupboards to reduce your kitchen budget dramatically. Beware, though, reducing the budget for food doesn’t mean eating less – or worse, starving yourself. It is about being smart with your food and knowing how to to make everything work better and cheaper in the long term. Welcome to your kitchen 2.0, the smart way about food buying, preserving, and cooking.
1. Buy Large Quantities
If you are an avid meat eater, you would have noticed that it is cheaper sometimes to buy an entire cut from your butcher than to ask for a couple of beef fillets. The same argument is valid for the fish eater, as it is not uncommon to find offers for a whole fish at your local fishmonger. Why is that, you might ask? This is because, in the end, your butcher and your fishmonger would rather sell an unprepared piece at a lower price than waste it. Vegetarians don’t need to feel left out: You can find bags full of potatoes, carrots or even apples – to name just a few – that comparatively speaking are a more interesting purchase than a handful of vegetables or fruits. These large quantities may seem best for large families, but you can still find ways to store them smartly. For instance, you can easily prepare future dishes, such as lasagna or ragu, with the items you’ve bought, and freeze the dish for a future date. This is the easiest way to make the most of your purchase. Most items can be easily frozen, however, if you want to avoid the freeze burn you can use a vacuum sealing system. The vacuum seal will remove the air out of the packaging and keep all the natural moisture so that you can keep the food fresh for longer, whether you chose to freeze it or not.
2. Have A Lunch Plan
The best way to make sure that you are not overbuying is to stick to a lunch plan. Knowing what you want to cook means that you are only buying what you need. Additionally, for those who feel easily stressed out in the kitchen, this ensures that you are in control at all times. So every weekend, you can prepare your plan for the week to come, and buy accordingly. This might seem a little too organized, but you will soon get used to this way of thinking about food.
3. Buy Seasonal Food
Not only does seasonal food taste better, but it is by far the cheapest fresh products that you will find in your local market. On a more economical basis, buying seasonal food is a way of supporting your local farmers too, as they are the ones responsible for the food production. In short, don’t look for imported fruits and vegetables if you can find local and delicious food on the shelves. You may not be able to eat strawberry salad every day of the year, but there’s nothing wrong with seasonal products such as cabbages and rhubarbs. They are full of nutrients too which you can’t find in the same amount in less seasonal products.
4. Maximize Your Garden
If you have a garden, you can look into growing your own vegetables and fruits. There are plenty of plants that are easy to grow, even for beginners, such as tomatoes, beans, and carrots for example. Once you’ve started, you will find it difficult to match the taste of your own harvested products! Make sure, though, that you are equipped to preserve your harvest from the weather fluctuations – a greenhouse is a great investment for this –, and from time – remember that vacuum sealer? It’s time to get one! There is no bigger pleasure that enjoying your own jam or your own tomato sauce!
5. Look For Recipe Inspirations
One of the main waste problems that people have in the kitchen is caused by a lack of knowledge. If your book of recipes is limited, waste will tend to occur when you find yourself with an unknown arrangement of ingredients. So it’s helpful to keep looking for inspirational and healthy recipes online or in magazines so that you always know what to do with your leftovers. If you are looking for simple recipes, the Italian cuisine is a good place to start as some recipes use no more than three ingredients. If you want more complex flavors, the Indian and Asian cuisine offers an ideal mix of spices with a still very simple mix of ingredients, for example.
6. Stop The Addictions
It may be hard to believe it, but the kitchen is the place of all the most common addictions. While there is no word of drug or alcohol addictions, it’s good to know that certain types of food, such as sugar, for instance, can cause serious addictions too. You can easily get into the habit of adding sugar to your warm drink and maybe having a biscuit or two on the side. At the end of the month, you will have spent a significant amount of money on sweet and unnecessary items. But more importantly, sugar clogs up your taste buds and changes the chemical patterns in your brain, creating sugar rushes that can be very expensive for your health and your budget in the long term.