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The Smartest Steps to Reduce Food Waste and Save

It’s common to hear people say that eating healthy is expensive, but I’m here to say that it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways we can cut costs so that eating well becomes more affordable and accessible.

Something to keep in mind is that our health is an investment. When we invest in good quality food to fuel our body, we feel better, have more energy, are happier and can rest easy knowing that our body is getting the important nutrients that it needs. When we spend that bit of extra money to provide our body the nutritious foods, we can prevent various illnesses and lifestyle disease, which in turn will save us money on sick care and medication down the track.

Our bank account should reflect our values. When we value our health, it’s normal to see money being spent on things that support it. Whether this be delicious real foods, a gym membership, trips to the infrared sauna, your choice of self-care activities or all of the above. In saying that, we don’t have to break the bank to be healthy and there are things we can pick and choose to stay budget friendly. So, let’s dive into some of the best ways to reduce our food waste and save money.


Plan out your meals for the week ahead

It may sound obvious, but planning our meals is one of the best ways to reduce food waste and as a result can save us money. This is because when we know what we’re having, we only buy what we need. This means we have less food left in the fridge at the end of the week and it also means we’re not buying lots of different ingredients, many of which we won’t even end up using.

The way I like to plan out my meals is to decide what I’m having for dinner each night, then to make double the serve so I have leftovers for lunch the next day. Breakfast I’ll alternate a couple of options based on what I feel like in any particular week. It’s always great to have a muesli or granola in the pantry for those days you’re in a rush.

Get yourself a meal planner template and fill it out on the weekend. Write yourself a list of the ingredients you’ll need to make those meals and head to the supermarket knowing exactly what you’re going to need and use. It will also help prevent impulse buying, which can bring the shopping bill up pretty quickly.


Pack your lunch 

While eating out can be a great thing to indulge on over the weekend, don’t get into the habit of buying lunch on your workdays. Plan ahead and take a meal or leftovers to work. This helps you get another healthy option in, while saving you the money of buying multiple lunches from the café that’s local to your work. Save eating out for social occasions, you’ll enjoy it more, the food you have at home won’t go to waste and you’ll save a tonne of money.


Buy in bulk

While it may cost more upfront, buying things in bulk works out cheaper in the long run and can be a great way to save money. Stock up on the staples that you know you use a lot of. Buy the bigger packet, jar or bottle. You’ll use it over time and it generally works out cheaper per gram or litre.

It can be beneficial to do a monthly stock up of all your pantry staples. Check what you need and jump on the GoodnessMe Shop to replenish your levels and ensure you have your basics covered. Then all you have to do is buy the fresh produce as needed.


Forbidden Foods Brown Rice


Health Lab Balling Variety Pack


Amazonia Raw Protein Isolate Natural


Store your food properly

Storing our food in the correct manner can help it keep for longer. There’s nothing worse than opening up a bag of crackers only to have them go stale before we get to finish eating them. Save this from happening by investing in good storage containers and putting them to use.

Something to consider is not storing your food in plastic. This is because plastic contains xenoeostrogens, which can be disruptive to our hormone health. Instead go for glass, silicone or stainless steel options. If you do need to store your food in plastic, just make sure you transfer it to a bowl or plate before heating it up.


Here are some storage solutions you may want to try:

Eat To Live Glass Storage Jar with Wooden Lid


Little Mashies Reusable Food Silicone Storage Bags



Give dried legumes a try 

Rather than always opting for the canned beans and lentils, give the dried versions a go. It takes a bit more effort from a prep perspective, but cost-wise it can work out a lot cheaper.

If you’re looking for one thing to start with, I’d recommend lentils. Compared to many of the beans, they’re much quicker to cook and require less effort.

Something I’d recommend when opting to cook legumes from scratch, is to choose which one you’d like to use for the week ahead and cook up a batch that you can divide throughout your meals. This will prevent you going to the effort of cooking multiple legumes in the same week and will save you time when lunch or dinner comes around. Make it part of your Sunday meal prep and you’ll thank yourself when it’s time to eat.  


Sol Organics Organic Indian Spiced Dhal Red Lentil Dhal Mix


Sol Organics Organic Moong Dhal Yellow Lentil Dhal Mix


Don’t feel like you need to eat organic

In an ideal world I’d recommend everyone eat organic, however it can get expensive quite quickly and it’s not an absolute deal breaker when it comes to health. Remember that real food is always going to be better than processed food, whether or not it’s organic.

If you would like to start eating some organic food but can’t quite afford to go 100% yet, start with fresh produce off the dirty dozen list. This list can be found online and will showcase the 12 most sprayed foods, which you can then purchase organic.

Another great place to start with organic produce is lower cost items like certain wholegrains, legumes, coconut, etc. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of organic, without having to spend too much extra.


Switch alcohol for non-alcoholic beverages

A great way to save money is drink less alcohol and switch to non-alcoholic beverages. These options are not only cheaper, but they also help support our health and wellbeing goals. It gives our liver a bit of a break and allows us to enjoy other delicious beverages, without the hangover. This doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t ever drink, but swapping out the alcohol for sparkling water or a non-alcoholic beverages is an easy way to spend less cash when you’re trying to stay healthy on a budget.


These are some of the non-alcoholic drinks we’re loving:

Dash Sparkling Water Cucumbers


Naked Life Non-Alcoholic Italian Spritz


Dash Sparkling Water Lemons



Overall, you’ll notice that these strategies and tips are all things that you can get started with today and reap the rewards almost instantly. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard, expensive, or wasteful. In fact, when we do it properly it shouldn’t be any of those things. Start with what you can and don’t feel like it has to be an all or nothing approach. Something is better than nothing, so the closer you can get to eating real foods and enjoying the benefits this has towards your health, the better.








About the author: Shahna Sarpi is a qualified nutritionist that is on a mission to help people live a nourished life through real food and healthy habits. She loves simplifying food labels and helping people make healthier food choices. Shahna is passionate about spreading the real food message and supporting people in living a healthy life.

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