It's important to prioritize healthy food in your budget, but you also don't want to be spending extra money when you don't have to. Here's how you can save money on healthy food, no coupon clipping required.
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One of the best ways to save money on healthy food is to reduce your food waste. It's estimated that 40% of food goes to waste. That's a big problem, especially when there are so many people going hungry. Plus, when you waste food, it's like throwing your hard earned money in the garbage. Here are some things you can do to reduce your food waste.
- Meal plan. Planning your meals means that you can buy only what you need and don't end up with extra food at the end of the week. This helps eliminate science experiments in the back of the fridge and rotting produce that ends up getting tossed.
- Be ok with food that isn't perfect. Quite a bit of food goes to waste because of minor cosmetics issues. Embrace the fact that food is biological and is going to have it's quirks and imperfections. If there's a bad spot on your apple or tomato, cut it away and eat the rest rather than throwing the whole thing away.
- Use everything. The scraps and extras that you're throwing away might actually be able to provide you with an extra meal. For example, use chicken bones to make your own broth. It's easy and that broth can be used to make soup for dinner the next day. You can also save veggie scraps like carrot ends, celery ends, onion tops, and ginger peels in a bag in your freezer to add into your homemade broth. This means that you are squeezing every last bit of nutrition and every last penny out of something that would have ended up in the trash.
- Compost. Speaking of trash, compost whenever possible. Even if you're trying really hard, things are still going to go bad on occasion. Plus, if you're eating lots of fresh produce, you're also probably throwing away lots of cores and other little bits. Composting these items allows them to decompose naturally, rather than sitting in a plastic bag in the landfill. Plus, if you happen have a garden or house plants, your homemade compost can serve as a great free natural fertilizer for your plants.
- Grow your own. When you grow your own fruits and veggies, you can get the best produce in exchange for a little bit of your time and energy. Plus, you can eat things that would never make it to the grocery store or farmers' market. If a tomato splits on the vine, you can pick it and eat it right away. Something like that would end up getting tossed on a farm, because it could never make it to market without spoiling and, even if it did, no one would buy it.