MONEY MANAGEMENT: USE THESE 15 WAYS TO SAVE AT LEAST 40% ON FOOD COST




Last week’s article centred more on purchases. Today we shall be looking at internal control measures that can be set up to control food quantities in our homes.

Below are the 15 ways:

1. COOK AND STOCK YOUR FREEZERS:  Avoid cooking some meals every now and then. Meals like soups should be prepared in reasonable quantities and stored in your freezers.  Due to the power challenge in most African countries, this may not be feasible, but it can be managed.  You can prepare quantities that could last for days instead of weeks. This will save you cost, as frequent cooking of food can be expensive.

2. SUBSTITUTE INGREDIENTS: Go for some cheaper ingredients that can substitute already existing ones in your kitchen without altering the quality & quantity of your meal. For example, looking at your spices, the present once may be more expensive than some that can still perform same function in your meal.

3. REPACKAGE: Put small quantities of leftover sour cream or other perishables in smaller containers; they’ll last longer. Cookies, crackers, and the like will also last longer if stored in glass jars. Repackage your ingredients such as dry pepper, crayfish, spices, palm oil, etc, in smaller containers, to avoid exposing the bulk to air and other negative elements.

Also it would save you excessive usage, as smaller quantities are easier to manage during cooking.

4. COOK MORE SCRATCH: As we all know in Africa, starch make is cheaper and better meals for our households. Making meals from scratch is about the best way to save on food; the more quantity you prepare, the lesser the cost you incur. Foods like Yam, garri, rice, Cassava, Maize, amongst others, are cheaper than other food classes.

You must take caution to avoid excess of it, as they have adverse effects.

5. SAVE ON PROTEIN: You can save by eating less meat, fish and poultry, and focus on beans as a way of saving money on protein and getting more value. After all, the proteins found in beans are cheaper and better than others.


6. FREEZE THE PERISHABLES: Perishable food items always stand the risk of going bad when not handled with care.  Items like vegetables, fruits, fresh meat & fish, cooked food& Milk, should be preserved in chillers and freezers.

Also, dried food items should be kept in cool dry places. Not only will preservation keep them from spoiling, it will also keep them from stinking.

7. AVOID EATING OUT: Eating at bookers and fast food outlets is never pocket friendly, especially for families. It is cheaper cooking at home.  Ordering things like Pizza, pastries, Nwobi, Isiewu, Suya and the like, should not be a daily or regular lifestyle. 

8. HAVE A TIME TABLE: This will help you organize your cooking as you’ll always plan ahead of meal times. This will also help you easily track your food record accurately.

9. RESTRICT EATING HOURS: Discipline yourself to eat at most 3 times daily. Instill same discipline in everyone in your home. Looking at the quantity of food in store, there are times some y in your or members of your household may be tempted to eat what they like and when they want it. It may turn out to be a habit at some point. Anything outside meal time servings should not be tolerated. 

10. PROHIBIT WASTES: Prohibiting waste is something I never learnt from home; it was a normal life style. It is indeed a money waster. I had to learn it on my own through friends and others. To avoid waste, make member of your household know your stand as regards waste of food, whether cooked or raw. Not even a grain of rice should be seen in the trash can and put up a system to monitor your order.

Waste can also come during cooking. Ensure your ingredients are not in excess and none is thrown away by way of controlling what goes into the pot. Avoid food burn as it can reduce the quantity of consumable food at the end of the day, which may lead to the preparation of more food. 

11. CONTROL OVERFEEDING: Taking more than the body requires per time is almost like waste. Overfeeding makes one take two times meals at a sitting. Of a truth, this is greed in disguise.  Instill the discipline in yourself and in members of your household. Everyone must it the right quantities per time. 

12. MEASURE QUANTITIES: Know the quantity of food consumed in your home per time; you can only achieve that by measuring. You can measure out from the bulk, the required quantities for daily, 3 days or weekly consumption. 

13. EAT HEALTHY: Excess of everything is bad. Learn to balance your meal most times. The use of vegetables is very crucial in every household, considering the role it plays in the body. Eating of vegetables should be regular, say 2-3 days interval. 

Eating healthy saves you the pain of spending on ill-health as vegetables or balanced meals have a way of boosting the body tissues. When you eat healthy sickness may come but will not gain root in your body. 

14. EMPTY YOUR PRESERVERS: If you will agree with me, sometimes or most times there are leftovers/remnants in your chiller or freezer. They are put there at different times by you and your household. There are times you need to gather everything you can find in these preservers and serve them as meal. This I have done in several occasions. 

If you overlook such foods in your preservers, some may end up in the trash can. Serving them as- may be - breakfast, lunch or dinner, will save you some costs. 

15. WATCH OTHERS: Try as much as you can to seal the back door of your kitchen. How do I mean? By way of greasing relationships or raising money, food items may be siphoned to outsiders by members of your household without your consent. This practice has done great havoc to most homes. Beware!

CONCLUSION: Cost on purchases can be controlled to an extent, while that of internal can be controlled to a very large extent. It’s up to you to decide on implementing these tips in your home and on yourself. I’ll suggest you consider these tips as they’ll save you a whooping sum.

END.

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