An easy way to save on groceries and prevent waste

Readers Corner

Hello friends!

No matter how hard I try, I’ve accepted that likely for the rest of my life, I will always be looking for ways to save money on food, while also decreasing food waste. I wanted to quickly share one unique tip I’ve been practicing the past few months that has paid off in dividends for anyone that (like myself) might need it.

I make a list before I go grocery shopping! Not a grocery shopping list. It’s a “What do we already have?” list. I bring the kids and sometimes even the husband into the kitchen and we do an assessment. I quickly jot down what we have by categories which are fridge, freezer and cabinet (no pantry #smallhouseproblems). I use that to inspire our weekly menu. It takes a bit of time but pays off in a big way. Seeing it all on paper as opposed to just making a few mental notes encourages me to buy less. It also holds us accountable for food that needs to be eaten soon. I see what items could be paired together to make a meal or what items might just need one extra thing to be turned into something. I’ve always done a version of this in my mind. However, for some reason writing what we already have on paper makes me think differently about what and how much I want to buy. It might seem silly but I couldn’t help but share. Let me know if any of you give this a try and if it helps. And feel free to share any of your own tips and tricks!

Lastly I wrote an article for Mother Mag on eating out with the family and avoiding the kids’ menu which you can read here.

P.S. I wasn’t sure what photo I should use in this post. We frequently walk down to our neighborhood bookstore after unloading the groceries which is where this was taken. Save money on food and you can buy more books I guess!

Thanks for reading,




  1. I like this! I scan my supplies and make a menu/need list accordingly. I like your type of list better: it promotes looking at what’s in the store instead of looking for a specific in the store. I read the kids menu piece, too. Remind me to tell you about orange jello and chocolate milk!


    • Thank you Ingrid! I’ve found I save a ton of money doing this and it’s encouraged more creative cooking too 🙂 I’ll ask you tomorrow if I see you! Heading to the Y in the morning.


  2. This is a great idea that I need to try. Especially cleaning out the freezer and pantry that are usually too full. I hate wasting food and feel so guilty about it. I loved your article in Mother Mag too! You are too right – the kids menus are so unhealthy and are typically so generic. At least one of my children can do without the kids menu! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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