From the list of little things in life that make one happy- there’s probably nothing more satisfying for a healthy eater than having a well-stocked kitchen. Think of fruits and vegetables, pulses, grains, sweet or savoury snacks and, something we’re particularly excited about - superfood powders!
While browsing the shelves of the local health store or the supermarket to discover new products can understandably be quite relaxing for some, how many of us are guilty of overstocking, which all too often turns into food waste? Have a read below to discover a few great strategies to minimise food waste, save money on groceries and build a pantry that’s both good for you and the planet.
- Plan your meals
The top tip for saving money on groceries is, of course, to not shop on an empty stomach so that you’re not tempted to buy things you won’t be able to eat before their best before date. However, shopping without a pre-established plan of what you’ll need can be equally dangerous. Not stocking up on all the necessary ingredients to make a delicious and well-balanced meal can result in your ordering more takeaways or taking more trips to the store, which is not great for either the environment if it implies driving or your budget as you may often end up picking up more stuff than you had intended.
What to do instead?
Take 10 minutes to plan your weekly shop before heading to the supermarket. Decide whether you’d like to cook fresh meals every day or batch cook at the weekend.
Batch cooking might be a safer option as it’ll take some of the thinking away – you’ll simply have to choose the recipes you’ll like to have and list the ingredients based on how much of each you’ll make. To minimise food waste, it’s also a great idea to make more of one recipe and divide it between your dinner plate and the next day’s lunch box. This will help reduce the waste of foods that are rarely used in their entirety such as spinach, herbs, lettuce, sauces, and most protein sources.
If you instead choose to cook fresh meals daily, you’ll have to take a moment to analyse your weekly eating habits, listing the ingredients you eat most often, the ingredients you never have enough of and those that often go to waste. Once you did this, a good shopping list can only look two ways:
- Add enough ingredients of those you eat most often to last you for a week (n.b. make sure you check the Best Before date when buying these).
Now you must also make sure that you don’t purchase oversized products thinking that you’d save money. For example, if you know that you’re only going to have about 100g of spinach in a week, don’t go for the 500g bag of spinach, the remaining 400g will most probably go bad before you say ‘Popeye’. A great way to manage such situations is by considering how many portions of protein, carbohydrates (i.e. fruit, vegetables, bread and potatoes in particular) and healthy fats you’ll need. Assuming you eat on average 14 portions of fruit a week, then there’s no point in buying multiple fruit packs, possibly ending up with 30 portions of fruit in your fridge.
- Add more portions of the foods you never have enough of in weekly increments.
- Reduce the quantity of foods that you tend to waste.
- Set a challenge for yourself to have more of the foods you tend to waste. Search for and try to make a new recipe featuring these ingredients every week. You may, for example, continue to buy that 500g bag of kale and make it into some extra virgin olive oil salad, kale chips, and kale hummus. However, to make sure you set attainable goals, you may still reduce the quantity of yoghurt or wholegrain bread you usually buy. Read tip number 2 to learn how you can up your eco-friendly kale game.
- Now that you’re going to have more of the foods you used to ignore, you can either slightly decrease the quantity of foods you used to buy the most of, or continue to buy the same quantity of the ingredients you often wanted more of.
- Stock up on dried foods
We know that uncooked ingredients can often be perceived as less convenient, but that’s not always the case. Our Kale Powder, Dried White Mulberries, Goji Berries, Spinach Powder, Banana Chips, Ginger Powder, Pineapple Powder and Banana Powder are as nutritious as convenient. They’re a great way to boost the nutrition of smoothies, bakes, spreads, and stir-fries for healthy eaters who’d like to avoid food waste.
Additionally, beans, pulses and grains might require more time to cook, but they possess some advantages, unlike their canned/ready boiled counterparts. They last an eternity, are great for reducing food waste, not to mention they take less space in your pantry. The average chickpea can contains two servings. Alternatively, you can cook only as much dried chickpea as you need to eat at once.
- Choose Organic
The organic certification guarantees that the products were grown and sourced following environmentally-friendly practices. No synthetic fertilisers and pesticides are used for organic growth to protect the soil and assure that no unhealthy substances are passed onto your food. Organic farming also prioritises greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Discover a fantastic range of organic superfoods on our website.
Bonus Tip: Give up plastic boxes for free glass jars
What do we mean by free jars?! Well, you may have given up a fantastic eco-friendly perk with your recycling more often than you’d think. Jam, spreads, jams, mayonnaise, cooking sauces and gherkins, all come in jars of different shapes and sizes. Simply wash the jars thoroughly and re-use them to store superfood powders, sugar, coffee, tea, grains or even meals such as overnight oats and buddha bowls.