Reducing my Waste Line

20 01 2013

I am determined to make more efficient lifestyle choices this year and to cut my spending. I have been considering the cost of my monthly food bill. It shouldn’t be difficult to keep costs low with only two of us but we fall victim to some common mistakes that inflate what we spend on food.


Convenience: We rely heavily on the local Co-op over the road.  This terrific little convenience store reduces the need for planning ahead. If we the cupboards are bare, a trip to the supermarket is unnecessary as all the ingredients we need for a healthy meal are lining the shelves waiting for us a minutes’ walk away. Even during cooking if we discover we have run out of something it is a very quick fix and we don’t even need  turn the oven off. Unfortunately the cost of convenience is high and these trips add up costing us significantly more than we would have spent in a larger store.



Buying Too Much: Most of us are guilty of buying more than we need. I shop online for food but I’m not very good at it. I go through my “favourites” list clicking at random without much consideration about what I need. I rarely buy enough meat and the irresistible attraction of BOGOF offers means I often end up with too many perishable items particularly fresh vegetables that go off before they can be used. Another difficulty with buying online is you cannot physically see the amount you have purchased and assessed the capacity of your freezer. My husband approaches the task of putting frozen food away like a game of Tetris and is quite good at creating weekly meal plans by examining the use by dates of the food in the fridge.

A recent episode of the “Tonight” program suggested that food prices are expected to rise by 4-5% this year but that 7 million tons of food and drink are thrown away – an average of £680 per family per year. Buying too much and throwing it away does not make sense.



Not making the best use of the ingredients we have available.

On Friday, hubby and I were playing ready steady cook with the contents of our fridge. We wanted to use a large packet of minced beef. But we didn’t want to make our usually mistake of cooking a massive portion and throwing half of it away. We almost never freeze leftovers for use at a later date so a lot of good food goes straight in the bin. Instead we split the mince into two portions and planned to have spaghetti bolognaise one night and a hearty stew the next – two totally contrasting meals and very little food was wasted. It felt very virtuous.

We also throw out food because the best before date has passed. Better planning could ensure that this food is used in good time and a bit of discretion about whether it is still perfectly acceptable to use would go a long way.


Here’s hoping that 2013 will be a waste free year.

I'm part of Post A Day 2013




One response

22 01 2013

trust you yo mention tetris

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