The following is a guest post from Karen with Money Saving Enthusiast.
You’re about to see how I used what I now call the Receipt Reference Technique to save money on food and stay organized with meal planning in three easy steps. And then I’ll explain exactly how I did it so that you can potentially get similar or better results. To learn more, keep reading.
I was tired of throwing out food that went bad in my fridge. It bothered me to waste food and money. While trying to figure out ways to be a better kitchen economist, I was riding the train to New York City when this idea came to me. I thought this would be the perfect way to keep an informal inventory of the groceries in our house and give our food budget the boost it needed.
1. I put my grocery receipt on the fridge.
I took a magnet and put that little piece of paper on the fridge. Our family uses it as an informal inventory and list to figure out what we should be pulling out of the fridge and freezer to eat. After putting away items from the grocery store, put the receipt right on the fridge. Place it where you will see it every time you open the refrigerator door.
2. Look at the receipt as a mini-menu.
Before planning a meal or just getting a snack from the fridge, I look at the receipt to gauge what I will eat in order not to waste my groceries. Some items spoil faster than others. It’s easy to put items in drawers and completely forget they are there. My family and I have wasted so many vegetables this way. Now we try to eat them all by just looking at the receipt before choosing an item to eat.
3. We check off items we used.
We cross each item off the receipt when we use it all. It helps us eat healthier because now our vegetables aren’t going to waste. The receipt has the date on it. We check the date so we don’t have to guess if it’s spoiled or not. It also reminds us to go shopping again. The receipt can be used as your new grocery list too. You don’t have to rewrite many items you buy over and over like milk, egg, bread, etc. Refer to the receipt to remind yourself what to eat and what to buy.
Check off items you finish eating to determine what is left. This way you are sure not to waste what you bought and it will guide your meal planning to finish food before it expires.
In the past, I calculated that I was throwing away at least 25% of what I bought. Now I use almost everything all because of a receipt. I am able to quickly and easily keep track using my receipt.
Karen has been a lifelong Money Saving Enthusiast with an MS in Education. She shares her knowledge on her website and as a contributor to Mamiverse.com. She was recently featured on a Fox News Website. She also teaches math. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, photography, and reading finance books. Follow her on Pinterest here.