As we approach Christmas, the season most celebrated with food and beverages, it’s a good time to take stock of just how much we spend, and subsequently waste, on food throughout the year. Budgeting for Christmas party catering is the perfect place to start creating better shopping habits allowing us to enjoy culinary treats without skimping on portions or breaking the bank.
Incredibly, 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 on food throughout the year.
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.
Shopping will 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.
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.
Grow your own
Harvesting fresh produce from garden to kitchen is healthy, rewarding and organic. 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.
Don’t wait until January to change your food habits. Start now by shopping smarter for Christmas. Your changes will not only contribute to your bank balance, but benefit your family’s health, and maybe the entire planet!
Food Waste Facts – Oz Harvest www.ozharvest.org/what-we-do/environment-facts/