Want to Save More Money? Look at Your Waste

How many pounds do you think the average American family wastes in food each week?  (If you’re like me, you’re surprised that the total is even one pound let alone pounds.)  Any guesses?

According to ABC News, the U.S. average of food waste is 14 pounds a week!

One family ABC News followed, the Dickinsons, spent $300 a week on groceries, but they threw away 13 pounds of food every week.  Over a year, that equated to $4,000 a week going straight in the trash.

Typical Ways to Cut Expenses

The web is filled with ways to cut expenses.  Some big, like refinancing your home, some smaller like making your own dog food or asking your credit card company to reduce your interest rate.

All of these strategies are ones that you should pursue and that can help you cut your expenses.  However, if you feel like you’ve taken all the steps you can to cut your expenses, consider looking at your waste to save even more money.

Save By Analyzing and Curbing Your Waste

Food, as illustrated above, is an excellent way to curb the amount of money you’re wasting.  If you are routinely throwing out leftovers and produce you didn’t get to eat, this week, try to cut the amount of money you spend by 1/3.  If you spend $300 a week, aim to spend $200.  See if you have enough groceries to last the week.  See if you waste less because you have less.  If you don’t have enough groceries and aren’t wasting food this week, you can always stop at the grocery store midweek and increase the amount you spend next week until you find a comfortable spending amount.

However, waste isn’t just about food.  Look through your closets.  Look through your children’s closets.  How many clothes still have the tags on them?  How many have only been worn a handful of times?  Do you really need to buy all these clothes, or could you cut your clothing consumption by 1/3 or 1/2?  Again, doing so will keep real dollars in your pocket.

Accessories are also money drains.  Do you need 15 purses, or would 3 suffice?  What about hair bows, ribbons and barrettes for your daughter?  Does she need so many, or could she do just fine with 10?  What about shoes?  Some women literally have hundreds of shoes.  Do you need to buy more or are the ones you have suitable?

Electronics are another hot spot of waste.  Do you have unlimited texting?  How often do you use it?  Could you cut some of your services?  Do you really need to upgrade to the next version of your smart phone, or is the version you have still working just fine for you?

Sometimes we consider some purchases essential, like groceries, clothes, and electronics.  While we do need these things, we often don’t need them in the quantity we are buying them.  We can still buy them, though in smaller quantities, and not see our quality of life diminish at all.  In fact, your quality of life may improve because you have more money in your pocket.

Where do you routinely waste money?