Use it up!
I like saving! On literally everything, some might even call me a super scrimper.
I think I got this from my Dad, although good off and hard working for his money he always, no matter where, asked for a discount, 1, 2 or 3%, anything to save. When I was a teenager I used to be embarrassed and just couldn’t understand why, when he has the money, does he still ask for a discount.
He explained it is two ways, firstly the business gives a discount to attract a customer but also increases the chances for repeat business as well as some good word of mouth advertising. Secondly he said that a penny saved is a penny that you can put towards something else.
Now that I am older, I took to the philosophy 100% and try not only to get the best deals for my money but also look for free offers, free money (almost free that is) and of course I always strive for zero waste.
I also like to think of myself as something of a recycling queen, my recycling bin is always full, whereas my general waste is literally empty. Food waste is not only unnecessary but according to statistics can be as high as 30% per average household.
Thinking about my average weekly shop, which includes packed lunches and dinners, it ranges between £40 – £60, taking 30% off from the average of this as waste, comes just under £800 per year as waste. For this money we can go on holiday, all inclusive for a week. Because I like saving, I automatically monetise any purchase or waste and I am frankly not prepared to part with this sort of money. All it takes is some planning and being savvy, then not only are you saving money then but also get better deals in principle.
I try to use everything and make it go a little bit further. I save my scraps and freeze them to make my own vegetable stock (which is fantastic by the way), I use the oil from anchovies, artichokes or sun dried tomatoes for either dressings or to make my home made mayonnaise. I even save the brine from my kalamata olives as it give just another level of flavour to, say a dressing or a marinade.
One of my big no-no’s is grated cheese, yes I understand that it is convenient and quick, but seriously? How long does it take to grate cheese? A 250 gram bag of extra mature cheddar costs about £2 (£8 per kilo) but you can get a 350 gram block of the branded stuff for £3.50 or, if on offer, even £2, not only do you get more for your money but by grating your own cheese you can save just under £200 a year for just a minute of your time.
About once a year I get £50 because I take part in YouGov surveys, twice a week on my lunch break, ok not a whole lot of money but enough to do a weekly shop or to pay for dinner on date night, again it all adds up.
There are quite a few things you can do to reduce waste, be it chopping up veggies and herbs you know you won’t use and put them in the freezer for soups and stews, grow your own herbs in the garden or window sill or, and that’s just a dream I have, get a couple potbelly pigs. They literally eat everything that you might have to discard of. Of course the pig idea is not realistic for anyone living in a city but if, like me, you live in the rural country side, this idea might not be too far fetched and pigs are such intelligent, cute and silly creatures.
Not only do I pledge to do my bit and reduce food waste but I will publish more articles on the subject as well. Look out for more good stuff in the ‘Waste not, want not’ section. Tips, tricks and updates are to follow, so you can save yourself a lot of money and take the family on holiday, which is a much better experience for the whole family than skipping a minute on grating cheese.
My love of food comes from being involved in the making and preparing of food from when I was a child and grating cheese is a good first step, not only to involve your kids in the preparing of the meal but also to teach them that ‘from scratch meals’ don’t have to be a tedious task but still can be quick and easy and saving money for the more important things in life.
With this being said, I hope you enjoyed my new article and stay tuned for more articles to get more bang for your buck.