4 Quick Tips to Reduce Food Waste and Save Money

@heatherdeffense via Twenty20

Do you find that you're wasting both cash and food having to throw food out each week? With a bit of time and planning, you can quickly save your cash by buying them at the right time to get food for cheap, and then storing it so that it lasts longer.

Shop around closing time

If you're looking to save some real cash, the best time to go to the grocery store is about an hour to half an hour before closing time. At this time, stores will be trying to get rid of any perishable goods, and you can often get items like bread and milk for over half the price. On these goods, you'll see a 'sell-by date,' but this isn't related to its best before date. It's just the last date the store is allowed to sell the product. After this, it will generally end up in the trash. If you buy goods that are close to their sell-by date, then make sure to eat them quickly or put them in your fridge or freezer to extend their life. 

Shop assistant serving a customer in packaging-free shop. Zero waste shopping - woman buying fresh food at package-free grocery store.

Have one night of the week for finishing off leftovers

Once you get through all of your planned meals for the week, have one night where you eat up anything that was left over, and try to use any food in the fridge that will need throwing out soon. This may be a combination of food that you made through the week and any food you had delivered from somewhere like It may be that you can combine the food you've left into a casserole or a stir fry, which is a great candidate for using up leftover meat and veggies. Simply get the wok out and toss in anything you've left over. Add in some noodles and some soy sauce, and you have a meal made from items that would have otherwise gone in the trash.

View looking out from inside of refrigerator as couple unpack online home food delivery

Properly store your greens

Salad ingredients like lettuce and spinach often end up going off because of moisture in the bag that gathers as it's in the fridge. You can get at least a few more days out of greens by adding in some paper towel to the bag to absorb the moisture. This also counts for herbs like parsley or basil.

Healthy vegetarian food concept background, fresh green food selection for a detox diet, raw broccoli, apple, cucumber, spinach, peas, asparagus, avocado, lime, corn salad and mung bean, view from above, flat lay

If you have herbs that you've bought fresh from the store, you can make them last longer by putting them in a glass of water similar to how you would keep flowers. Change the water every now and again, and your herbs will end up lasting at least a few weeks rather than days. 

Regrow store-bought vegetables

Did you know that some vegetables can grow back if you simply plant them again? Celery and green onions are two good examples of this. For celery, you can just keep the bottom of the plant after chopping it and replant it. You'll see the stem start to grow again! Green onions can also regrow after you've chopped them up for a meal. Add the root of the plant to a glass of water, and the rest will grow back.

Portrait of a man checking tomato plants growing on an allotment