The Coronavirus Pandemic has caused so many to suffer job losses, strain on the household, sickness, reliance on Government support, and more.
Whether you’re currently unemployed or considered an essential service and still working – ALL OF US are looking for ways to save money at home. One big money-saving tip we’re going to cover today is preventing food waste.
FINDING A BALANCE BETWEEN BUYING THE RIGHT AMOUNT… AND MINIMIZING TRIPS TO THE GROCERY STORE
Stock up on frozen produce instead of fresh. It may be challenging to find right now – call ahead to your grocery store of choice to see if they have frozen fruit and veggies in stock. Frozen fruit and vegetables will last much longer, you can determine portions for each meal, and there will be less waste.
If you/your family tends to get bored eating the same produce over and over, buy a smaller amount of a variety of fresh produce, instead of the Costco-size bag of oranges for example. This way, you may be more inclined to eat everything while it’s fresh instead of letting half a bag sit and get moldy (because you’re sick of eating them).
If you’re going to buy in bulk – try to keep your produce in the fridge to prolong their freshness. If you enjoy your apples, oranges, etc. at room temperature, only take a few out of the fridge at a time and replenish your fruit bowl as necessary.
Buy in bulk – but be prepared to freeze much of it! (see below for some tips)
FREEZING & REPURPOSING LEFTOVERS:
Keep an eye on those fruits and veggies. Are they wilting? If you don’t have a plan for the wilting produce in the coming day or two – use them up in a chili, frittata/omelette, soup, hummus, homemade fruit popsicles, etc.
If your produce is wilting but shows no sign of rot – FREEZE THEM. Chop them up, stick them in a freezer bag.
Consider purchasing a vacuum sealer to freeze bulk food. Vacuum sealers extend food freshness 3 to 5 times longer than traditional storage methods. Check out these ones!
(Surprising) FOODS THAT FREEZE WELL: In addition to the typical freezer-friendly foods like meat, fish, bananas, berries, peppers, etc., here are a few foods that are cheaper when purchased in bulk – and will still freeze well!
AVOCADOS are an amazing addition to your diet because they’re full of vitamins and healthy fats (C, E, K, B-6, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, potassium, lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids). They help keep you satiated – the feeling of ‘I’m full’, longer.
How to freeze avocados:
Wash and cut in half. Peel skin off. Freeze as halves or puree with lime or lemon juice. Note: avocado texture once thawed will be best for guacamole, dips, dressings, etc.
CHEESE: when we’re trying to generally eat healthier, cheese isn’t an ingredient that we’ll tend to consume a ton of. HOWEVER, it can definitely be cheaper to buy cheese in a large block. So, to avoid moldy cheese…
How to freeze cheese:
Grate and put smaller portions (1-2 cups) into freezer bags. When needed, remove from the freezer and let thaw in the fridge.
Note: harder cheese like cheddar, mozza and parmesan are best for the freezer.
CITRUS FRUITS (oranges, lemons, limes) are full of vitamins, a sweet treat on a day-to-day basis, and amazing for adding to salads and salad dressings. But, if you bought that gigantic bag from Costco, you may find yourself with citrus that may go bad.
How to freeze oranges/lemons/limes:
Cut the rind off and store in freezer bags. You can use these for flavouring soups, marinades and dressings.
Squeeze the citrus juice into ice cube trays for a great addition to smoothies. You can also defrost these in your water bottle to create your own flavoured water!
RAW/ROASTED NUTS (not the honey-roasted kind) are a healthy addition to your day-to-day diet. Eating a small handful can keep you full, and ward off cravings. Freezing nuts helps to sustain their healthy oils.
How to freeze nuts:
If you buy a large bag of nuts (or overdo it in the bulk isle), store them in a freezer bag in the freezer.
Eating/using/preserving all of your groceries will help you stretch that food budget… Especially now, when we feel we need to watch every dollar spent, learning to reduce food waste is vital!
If you have questions about healthy eating on a budget, please take your free breakthrough session with our team!
– Dr. Dan