I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “waste not, want not.” We’ve all grown up with that saying. In our parents’ and grandparents’ time, the very idea of wasting food was unthinkable. Today, it’s the norm with nearly 40% of food purchased wasted every day.
When you consider that the most flexible thing in our budgets is groceries, it’s hard to imagine we’re throwing away $40 worth of food for every $100 spent. Imagine the ATM machine spitting out five 20-dollar bills and then taking two of those 20s and putting them in a paper shredder. That is a great picture of what food waste costs you. Are you willing to shred 40 bucks each time you take $100 out of your bank account?
Take it a step further: that 40% translates to 29 million tons of food being wasted each year. That’s enough food to fill up the Rose Bowl every 3 days. The cost of this waste? $100 billion annually.
Another place of waste is spending your food budget money on eating out all the time. Unless you’re splitting stuff on the dollar menu regularly, there’s no way you can stay within budget eating out all the time–unless you have a ridiculously large food budget, but then, wouldn’t you rather put some of that cash toward something else besides food?
Waste is abhorrent whether it’s the government wasting taxpayer money or the personal waste happening inside your refrigerator week after week. Money is money and in this economy, it’s hard to come by. Wasting like this is as bad as spending frivolously—it shows a serious lack of respect for the value of a buck.
The antidote to curb these kinds of waste all points back to planning—if you don’t make a menu for the week, you are missing out on being able to take advantage of your grocery stores sales, and you miss the peace of mind that comes with having a plan and you miss out on saving quite a few bucks.
This week, make a menu. As another old adage goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
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