Lowering Grocery BillHow often have you had to toss out food? You are not alone. According to the National Resource Defense Council about 40 percent of all of the food in America is wasted and most Americans waste up to $43 a month or 20 pounds of food each month. Those numbers translate into each person spending $516 a year on food that they throw away. Would you toss that much cash into your garbage?

You Can Prevent The Waste

Preventing the waste is simple and only takes a little of your time. Here are a few tips that should help you save some money each month.

  • Fresh herbs last longer if they are washed, dried, and stored in a plastic bag in the crisper section of your refrigerator.
  • Store your onions in pantyhose. My great-grandmother only bought pantyhose for this use. She would toss an onion in, give a good twist, add another, and so on, then store the whole deal in the pantry. The onions would last at least a month this way.
  • You can keep dry products from going stale by storing them in airtight containers. Granted, you have to invest in the containers, but the goods can last up to a year if stored properly, so the containers pay for themselves in a short time.
  • Bread lasts longer in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen if you come a cross a good deal on multiple loaves. If it starts to feel stale, five seconds in the microwave will soften it nicely.
  • Keep bulk cheese in wax paper. The wax paper allows the cheese to ”breathe”. This will delay mold and prevent that slimy feel that cheese can develop when sealed in an airtight container.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables are notorious for going bad quickly. That can be delayed by washing and drying the items after purchase. Try putting them in a sink of lukewarm water and adding around a cup of white vinegar. The vinegar helps remove dirt and wax. It also kills off a variety of bacteria. After soaking for 10 minutes, dry the goods. This should add at least a week to the shelf life of the food.

One final tip would be to create a weekly meal plan. From that plan, you can develop a grocery list. Sticking to that list will help you buy only what you will be using in the week to come. This should cut down on the amount of food that you use. Planning for 14 meals and 7 snacks each week should insure that you will have enough food on hand so you do not have to make multiple trips to the grocery store.