There are two ways you can create wealth. 1. Earning more money 2. Saving more. Out of the two, we have more control over our spending habits than earning more money.
Even if you have lean budget and you don’t want to reduce your spending, there is one simple way that will greatly reduce your spending.
It’s quite simple: ELIMINATE WASTE. It’s around the same line of MINIMALISM. Minimalism indirectly helps reduce the waste. Let’s say you have tried all the ideas to reduce grocery spending, and want to reduce it even further, look nowhere other than your kitchen.
- Go to your kitchen and find out the items that are about to expire. Make some meals out of them
- Create weekly meal planning with the ingredients you already have in the fridge, freezer, and pantry. Once in a few weeks, I cook all my meal from items in the kitchen without buying anything from the store. Those are days when I get creative and cook some different meals. Some turned out to be really nice, some turned out to be ok
- Clean your fridge, freezer, and pantry once a month. When you take everything out for cleaning, you are forced to see the unused items that are about to expire
- Maintain a “Monthly Waste” list and stick it in the freezer. Every time we waste something, that item and its value are entered in the waste list. It’s easy to throw something and not think about it in the next minute. But when you write the item you wasted and its value, you can feel a pinch in your heart. So next time when you waste something, you’ll think twice (the current one in my mind is unused Asparagus stems in the fridge. I’m thinking of making a soup out of it. Hopefully it turns out well)
Where to start:
Below is the timeline I follow when it comes to cleaning the unused items.
|Clothing||Once a month|
|Kids Toys||Once a quarter|
|Furniture||Once every 6 months|
|Anything that's torn and not fixed||every 3 months|
|Kids clothes||After every season|
|Food||after expiry date (obviously)|
|Medicine||Anything that you know you won't use it anymore + expired|
|Makeup + skincare||anything not used in the last 3 months + expired|
How to avoid waste:
- Don’t buy bulk if you are not going to use the item within 2 months
- If the item doesn’t excite you, it has to go. Whether it’s piece of clothing or a kitchen utensil, if you don’t find it exciting to use or wear, it needs to go
- Invest in good quality items and buy less. For example, I only have 4 kitchen vessels in total (including my pressure cooker). I cook all my meals using those 4. It’s been over 2 years since I ditched my extra utensils and I haven’t missed them so far. Try it. you’ll be surprised.
- Have a budget (Here is more on how to start budgeting). High-quality items are typically expensive. If you buy expensive items within the budget, you cannot buy too many items and fill up the house
When you start implementing the above ideas, you might feel like you’re throwing away too many items at once. But those are the items you have not used for a whole or you can no longer use. If possible consider donating them or selling them on Facebook. Once you’re past the first step, the total waste goes down and you can eventually see a difference both in your spending as well as in your life.