How to make your food last longer – and save money on groceries as a result

If you’re looking to save money on groceries, the best way to start is to get more out of the food you buy and make it last longer.

That means you won’t end up chucking gone-off food or buying more than you actually need.

This might sound easier said than done – but I’ve got some simple tips to get you started.

Just try following these steps to spend less and use more.

Make the freezer your friend

Freeze bread if you’re not going to get through it in time and simply take it out 30 mins before you need it, or pop it straight in the toaster.

You can also freeze milk straight in its container if you wont drink it before it goes bad.

Freeze leftover fresh herbs with melted butter in ice trays to use to cook with and cut citrus fruit up and store it in the freezer so you can grab a slice and defrost it when you want to add to drinks or food.

Use frozen herbs as well as garlic, chillies and ginger so you have no food wastage and it’s there when you need it – this is such a money saver as well as organisational hack for the kitchen.

Don’t chuck wrinkly tomatoes

If tomatoes are starting to go a little bit wrinkly then pop them in an oven tray with some oil and a couple of cloves of garlic, then roast on a low temp for 20 mins.

Add to soups, sauces or pasta dishes for a delicious flavour.

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Take care of your punnets

When you wash out punnets of fruit make sure you put some paper towels down in the punnet when storing them, so they don’t go mouldy from sitting in water.

Don’t bin bananas

If you have bananas that are going over, chop them up into chunks and freeze. When you want to make a smoothie this will give you a lovely, thick consistency once blended.

Or, make banana bread!

Store garlic in the dark

Store garlic in a dark, cool places such as a cupboard to stop it from sprouting and to keep it fresh for longer.

Get smart with a slow cooker

Use a slow cooker to make meals from what you can find in the cupboards – pulses, chickpeas, and beans can really bulk out meals and chucking in tinned tomatoes, coconut milk and spices can give the meal so much flavour.

Try long-life milk

Consider buying UHT milk (or alternative) for a back-up in the cupboard. This way, if you run out of fresh milk you don’t need to go to the shops, where you might be tempted to spend money on the things you don’t need, until you need to do a full food shop.

Invest in some proper storage

Store cereals in an air-tight container rather than their boxes to keep them fresher for longer.

And if you only use half a tin of beans, store the rest in a bowl rather than the tin in the fridge to help it last longer until you use them up.

Once a week, make a ‘chuck it all in’ meal

These are one of my favourite kinds of dinners to use up foods. Make a delicious cheesy pasta with any veggies that are wilting, such as courgettes, spring onions, mushrooms and peppers, add in some seasoned tinned tomatoes and herbs and grill with lots of cheese on top – delicious.

Choose frozen veg

Many vegetables can be bought frozen and are ready for when you need fresh veggies.

Think outside the box here. It’s not all about your standard frozen peas – veggies like edamame beans or butternut squash can also be bought frozen and help cut down on prep time, too.

The key to saving money on groceries is trying to operate a zero-waste kitchen. Although this may feel a lot to get used to, little changes like these given should help you on your way to saving money on food and getting the most out of what you buy by making it last longer.

Further tips can be found on my YouTube channel and Instagram for daily money saving advice, tips and hacks for living your best life on a budget, and don’t forget to head over to my blog for your free budgeting trackers.

For more money-saving advice as well as chat about cash and alerts on deals and discounts, join Metro.co.uk’s Facebook group, Money Pot.

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