Reduce food spoilage in your refrigerator and save money

Reduce Food Spoilage

by Omie Ismail

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If you live cheap, you probably try to take advantage of warehouse club stores like Costco that offer deals on bulk groceries. These deals can save you a bundle, unless you lose a lot of those bargain goodies to food spoilage. If you don't keep track of the inventory in your pantry and your refrigerator, you'll need to factor in the cost of food spoilage on those massive portions. Spoilage rates can be as much as 15% in some households and as high as 50% for fresh fruits and vegetables. Who hasn't lost track of a giant yogurt container that somehow evaded detection by hiding in the back of the refrigerator for six months? To reduce food spoilage and save as much as $25 to $50 a month on your grocery bill, try these handy tips:

  1. Make sure you clean out your refrigerator once a week.

  2. Right size your meals if you aren't good at keeping track of your leftovers.

  3. Keep a list or calendar of leftover meals if you make these.

  4. Resist the urge to buy super size packages if you don't tend to finish them.

  5. Plan your shopping around the meals that you intend to cook and then cook them.

  6. Eat out less. You'll finish more of the food you have.

  7. Keep your refrigerator 38 degrees or below.

The last tip reminds us that sometimes when we try to save money (in this case by turning up the refrigerator to a warmer temperature), it often costs us more than the savings we get. Be smart about what you buy and how long it will last and you'll save money in the long run. If you keep track of your food, you'll end up reducing your grocery bill by as much as 15% and save money.

Omie Ismail is the CEO of, a website focused on helping people live better and cheaper. A successful software and information chief executive, Omie has a passion for helping people improve their personal finances by making better, smarter, and cheaper decisions. Through Live Cheap, he has helped tens of thousands of people learn to Live the Good Life Cheaply.

For more ways to save on groceries, read "7 Lessons to Get Groceries Super Cheap".

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