There are a number of common food mistakes that costs dearly in money, health, and time. What are the major mistakes made? What changes do you need to make? Here are some food mistakes to avoid.
1. Last minute meal planning or no planning at all. The results: not knowing what ingredients to have and/or not having the right ingredients.
2. Bad planning for shopping; not knowing what’s on sale, what’s in season, what you are out of, etc. Result? One buys what isn’t needed and spends too much on what is needed.
3. Convenience spending/cooking. Examples are; TV dinners, chicken already cut up, items in ready-to-use/serving sizes, etc.. This buying habit costs lots of money. Whole chicken at 49 cents a pound is much less than skinned breast at $3.89 a pound.
4. Unplanned trips for missing ingredients. Buying an item at the last minute means paying full price and buying other items not needed just because you are there.
5. Buying “wants” not “needs”. This habit causes incomplete meals or snacks as meals. Also, it results in not having healthy food for meals.
6. Improper storage equals wasted food. A good habit to get into is to properly store food the moment you get home. Make it a family event. I call it “divide and conquer”. Each family member can place items in their proper place even if they can’t cut the chicken for freezing, or fix the
carrots, celery, or whatever for serving sizes to be stored in the frig.
7. Trying too hard can result in giving up. Changing the way you cook or buy can be exciting and frustrating, especially if one attempts to do too much at one time. If you want to try stir frying, don’t try to do pressure cooking at the same time. Frustration causes some to quit.
8. Surprise! Company’s here! Unexpected company can put the budget in a sling. What recipes can be fixed ahead of time and cooked at the last moment? What foods feed a crowd that can be stored year around?
9. Bad diet/bad eating habits. For whatever reason people often just fall into bad eating habits. Unhealthy foods costs more. Eating too much of certain foods costs more.
One way to spend less and feel better is to take a good look at your buying habits. Decide what needs changed first. Prioritize. Even if you are good at sticking to plans everyone is in the habit of doing things certain ways. As you become hurried or stressed you may fall back into old habits. Precautions avoid unnecessary spending in food buying and preparation.
Spending less money on food and eating better is possible for almost everyone. Few are doing all they can. But don’t get all caught up with insignificant details. Life is too short. Decide what will work for you, and don’t stress about it. You need to reserve energy for more important things. Avoiding common mistakes can save time, food and money.