5 easy actions you can take to SAVE MONEY this Food Waste Action Week

With the press surrounding the rise in living costs, including the cost of food, it is important now more than ever to reduce the weekly food bill. This comes along with the added bonus of reducing food waste and all in time for Food Waste Action Week! I’ve included my 5 tops tips on how save on the food bill which has helped me, I hope they help you too.

TIP 1: Freeze any leftover food

I’m sure you know the usual things that can go in the freezer, but you might be surprised to discover some of the unusual things that can be frozen. Did you know that these items can all be frozen?

  • Lemons
  • Cheese
  • Garlic
  • Bananas (make sure you peel them first)

So next time you’re going home for the weekend, have a look at the fresh food you have and see what you can put in your freezer instead of the bin. This will save you money in the long-term, as well as saving you time and trips to the shop!

If you can’t freeze it, how about a random act of kindness and give it to a friend? If in doubt, try an internet search or here’s some good hints and tips on freezing food.

TIP 2: Consider a zero-waste option

You might be surprised to know that Cheltenham and Gloucester have zero waste shops where you can go and fill up a tub with your everyday essentials, such as pasta and rice.

  • In Cheltenham: FoodLoose is just off the high street and Waitrose offers some zero-waste products too.
  • In Gloucester: Fill Your Boots is at the Space Business Centre.

You can save money using these shops if you only need a small quantity of something, like spices or specialist ingredients. This also means you won’t have a bag or jar of something sitting in your cupboard until move out day! It’s a win-win situation for your pocket and the environment.

TIP 3: Plan ahead

We’ve all visited the shops when we’re hungry or tired and walked away with enough food to feed all our housemates! An easy way to help avoid getting distracted is to plan ahead:

  • Plan when to go the shops – avoid going after a busy day when you’re tired or hungry. Supermarkets like to organise the store so that you have to walk past the temptations, and the ability to resist gets harder.
  • Plan what you’re going to eat – planning your meals for the week will help to save you money when it comes time to doing the food shop. By going in with an action plan, your chances of buying things unnecessarily is reduced – better for your wallet and for the food waste bin!

I know I’ve been guilty of these things, but if we can avoid falling into the common traps our wallet will thank us.

TIP 4: Buy loose fruit and veggies

A simple switch to buying loose fruit and vegetables at the supermarket can help to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfill, and helps to reduce your food bill as you can buy only what you need. At Tesco’s (for example), carrots in a plastic bag are the same price as buying loose carrots. So, it won’t cost you anymore and you won’t be left with lots of leftover carrots if you can’t eat them all. This will save you money and room in your fridge.

If you’re like me and often buy far too much veg, have a look next time you’re doing your food shop and see if there’s loose options to help you reduce the amount you waste and save money. It’s a no brainer!

YIP 5: Have a look on OLIO

Have you heard of OLIO? Simply, it’s a place you can get free food. What’s not to like?

If you have a smart phone, you can download the OLIO app and have a look and see what food is on offer in your local area. All the food offered is free and often by food waste hero volunteers from the local community, who collect food from local supermarkets that would otherwise go into landfill.

There’s not only food, but all sorts – from books to jewellery to tools. There’s often bread, veggies and sauces – everyday items which can help to reduce your food bill as well as save these items from landfill, and you can make connections within the local community!

I hope you enjoy reading this and found some, if not all, of these tips useful. I have found the biggest way to reduce my food bill is to reduce my food waste, this is so important now as a student (particularly with rising costs). If you can think of any other top tips, don’t forget to share with your friends and family. Why not set a challenge of having a no spend week or setting a budget, using these tips to help you? Good luck!

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