It isn’t always the most difficult of methods that make for the best savings. Often it’s a simplification of life or finding more efficient processes that makes it easier to cut expenses.
When it comes to reducing food costs, I often find that getting organized and finding ways to separate various components of our regular shopping list helps me put order to our grocery-related items and keep our costs in this area low.
Food: ready-to-use versus storable
We keep the non-refrigerated food that we are currently using or will us in the near future in our cabinets and our stockpiled and reserve foods in a separate location altogether. This helps us rotate stock easier and keep foods with the same packaging but different “use by” or expiration dates from getting mixed up and forgotten about. This in turn decreases the chance of waste.
Our waste levels average around 1-2 percent a year. Meanwhile, in an April 2013 article, US New and World Report noted that, “According to a report last August by the National Resources Defense Council, the average American tosses about 25 percent of food and beverages purchased. For a family of four, the money wasted could total from $1,365 to $2,275.”
Paper products and cleaning supplies
We tend to keep cleaning supplies and paper products in other locations than our food but not just for safety purposes. Such items can be big and clunky (think rolls of paper towels, tissue boxes, etc.) and can obscure perishable food items. This can lead to forgotten products that spoil in the meantime, increasing our waste levels in the process.
Not only this, but by separating such items out, it makes it simpler for us to take regular inventory, being able to more easily go through and spot at a glance when we’re replacing an item or determine whether we’re running low on something.
Drinks and water
We find that keeping bottled water and drinks that don’t need to be refrigerated in separate spaces makes it easier to inventory and know when we need to purchase more. Not only this, but in the event that a bottle breaks or leaks (which has happened in the past), it won’t ruin nearby food or paper products.
And through this separation of space with our food, drinks, and other household supplies, we manage not only to keep things more organized but reduce waste and our overall costs through more efficient use of what we buy.
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The author is not a licensed financial, health or culinary professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.