Food isn’t cheap. But the exact cost of your grocery bill fluctuates a ton depending on what you buy. You may be unnecessarily jacking up your bills depending on the choices you make among the aisles. In fact, the average monthly grocery bill for one person can range anywhere from $206-$405!
So, what to do with these slightly alarming statistics? You can certainly save money by buying certain foods in bulk and being choosy with organic food purchases. But, let’s keep things even simpler: Don’t buy food you won’t eat.
It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how much food you buy and then abandon in your pantry or leave to rot in your fridge.
Here are my top five mistake foods:
It costs like $100 for one of those plastic ½ ounce cases of basil (ok, more like $3 but you get the point.) The problem is, I don’t use it all for the basil chicken recipe I’m making. So the basil sits in my fridge. Then it wilts… and that’s that.
The solution? Buy a plant! Oddly enough, they cost about the same as one of those plastic cases, but they’ll keep on yielding lovely delicious basil for months (and maybe years if you can keep it alive.)
It’s really easy to cruise past the mangos and think, “Oh, I’ll make a fun fruit salad with these.” So you grab them. Two weeks later, that mango salad didn’t happen, and your little yellow fruits are covered in mold.
Stick to the fruit you know you’ll eat on a regular basis so it doesn’t go to waste. For me, that’s bananas, apples and tangerines. Everything else has a universal embargo.
Honestly, I’m unclear of the rational for these things to exist. It’s way too many mushrooms for a single meal unless you’re making spaghetti sauce for a small army. And their sliced-carton-storage method makes it so they go bad in about two days flat.
Skip the pre-sliced packages and grab a small handful of the whole mushrooms.
Nobody loves a good trout or salmon steak more than me, but if I don’t buy it with specific plans to eat it in the next few hours, it goes to waste. Maybe I go out for dinner the next night. Then I’m lazy the next night and just order a pizza.
By that time, my $10-$15 a pound fish is hidden behind a dozen eggs or something, and it’ll have reached Stinky-Cheese-Man levels by the time I get around to it.
Truth time: How many cans of soup or corn or green beans are in your pantry right now? How old are they? I bet there are a few about ready to celebrate a birthday. Canned food is so easy to forget about, it’s not even worth buying in my opinion.
The Exception: A delicious can of tomato soup when I have a cold.