HOME > BLOG > Budgeting and Saving > How to slash your grocery bills by simply wasting less

Everyone wants to buy food for less and nab the best supermarket specials. However, there’s one sure-fire way to lower your grocery bills which often gets forgotten about – simply waste less.

Whilst we’d all like to shop smarter for our groceries, the reality is that many of us are currently suffocating under a mountain of uneaten leftovers, rotting vegies and petrified frozen meat – and then running out to buy more stuff.

The recently released Mitsubishi Electric Home Trends report found that whilst more Aussies are embracing fresh food, and scaling back on take-aways, this has also led to more food being wasted.

The national survey of 1,054 people nationwide found that the average family spends $163.07 on groceries per week but worryingly, wastes $20.59 of that, or $1,070 every year. That means 13 per cent of the food budget is simply going uneaten. Nationally, this equates to families collectively wasting a staggering $76.4 million worth of food every week.

Another study by the NSW Government which turned up similar results found that NSW households were throwing away over $1,000 worth of edible food each year including $343 in fresh food, $281 in leftovers and $94 in frozen food. According to Choice, all up Aussies chuck out a jaw-dropping 4.9 million tonnes of food each year. That equates to around 631kg of waste per household – the equivalent of a fully-grown buffalo!

Given the rising costs of housing and utilities, controlling your discretionary spend when it comes to food is one of the main ways you can actively save more money each week. Aim to spend less by wasting less with these tips:

Make a plan and stick to it

  • It’s vital that you make a list with your weekly meals in mind and budget for it accordingly. Don’t be tempted to buy things not on your list. Budgeting is critical, but it will only work if you’re committed to it. You have to be disciplined

  • Analyse purchases and study your grocery bills to learn what the most expensive items are and to see if you can cut back on things.

  • If you’re buying in bulk, remember that you’ll only save money if you use the food before it goes off

Store things properly

  • Place the oldest items in boxes, jars and cans at the front of your cupboard so you use them first before buying new stuff.

  • When bringing meat home, freeze all items not being used within a few days.

  • Store fruits and vegetables in their correct fridge compartments and use plastic bags to preserve their longevity. Store bananas, tomatoes and apples separately to other perishables as they give off gases making other things spoil quicker.

Prepare appropriately and do a regular stock take

  • Observe how much your family eats and only cook the consumable amount. Whilst leftovers might be good once in a while, don’t aim to have uneaten stuff after every meal.

  • Once a week get creative and try to make a stew or soup out of vegetable and meat odds and ends.

  • If you have leftovers in your fridge, aim to always eat them the next day.

  • Look through your pantry and freezer regularly and use whatever’s in there within a few months.

  • Use a calculator to get an estimate of how much you can borrow.
    Try one here.

  • See if you qualify. To get a more accurate idea of how much you can borrow with State Custodians,
    click here.

  • Call our Lending Specialists and they can do the calculation for you over the phone plus answer any questions you have at the time. Talk to us on 13 72 62.