Show me the money! The cost of family convenience and waste

Did you know the average NZ family throws out $563* worth of food a year? Good grief, that is over $10 a week. If you put that on your mortgage it would save you $8,672 in interest over 20 years (based on a $200k mortgage). Or if you put away $10 a week for 10 years you could save $5,220 towards your child’s education or first home deposit.

Here are some ways to avoid waste and make some savings that add up.

  1. Plan your meals and make a shopping list, buy only what you need
  2. Avoid shopping for groceries when hungry
  3. Limit requests if shopping with kids, e.g. let them know if they don’t nag your for things you will do something special together after shopping. Or have them so busy helping you they don’t have time to nag!
  4. Use your freezer for bread and leftovers. Cook larger meals and freeze half so you don’t have to cook every night.
  5. Avoid convenience items: ready made, single serve, individually servings, little packs inside big packs, heat and eat, just add water, etc. Get some good easy recipes and use them. Swap recipes with friends.
  6. Use unit pricing labels to compare different brands and sizes
  7. Keep leftovers in labeled containers so you can find and use them

Bonus saving! If you pay separately for your rubbish disposal you’ll save by needing a smaller wheelie bin, less frequent bin pick ups, or fewer waste bags. We saved over $100 a year this way. There are things other than rubbish I enjoy spending $100 on!!!!!

Planet bonus: reduced greenhouse gas emissions from food productions, transport and landfill gas emissions.

*Source: Hawkes Bay Today

joAuthor of ‘ Healthier Greener Lunch Boxes – ‘Nude’ Food’ is Jo, aka, ‘Chocbee’ is the mother of two energetic and enthusiastic children. She enjoys looking after her family, being part of her community, digital scrapbooking, cycling and is passionate about living sustainably being an everyday option for everybody. She has her own blog here.