SAVING money may be one of the benefits to growing a vegetable garden.
But what happens if you do not have the money, space and discipline to cultivate your own vegetable plot?
The Lost Food Project (TLFP), a Malaysian non-profit dedicated to rescuing “lost food” and giving it to the people who need it most, has some useful tips on how one can save money on food.
“It is more about managing your income. It is about prioritising the type of food you want for you and your family,” said its chief executive officer Ab Wahab Long.
The former Food Bank Foundation chief executive officer said now was a good time for everyone to start thinking about food wastage.
TLFP prevents quality, nutritious food and other surplus goods from going to landfill, redistributing this food and other essential items to those in need – regardless of religion, gender, age, disability or ethnic group.
“Malaysians produce about three times the food that they actually need and consume.
“The way we prepare and cook food is the key to cutting down on food spending,” he said.
Ab Wahab added that most Malaysians consume non-nutritious food and that was why Malaysia was among the top countries with obesity.
Another important point to note is food portions.
“The bigger the portion, the more it will cost. Also, the bigger the portion, the more likely it will end up in the dustbin too,” he added.
Ab Wahab recommended that people plan their meals ahead.
“Know what you need to cook, do your grocery shopping with a list to avoid getting unnecessary items.
“Pack your leftover meals and eat it during lunch at work. Seal it nicely and refrigerate to avoid it from getting spoiled.
“To avoid waste, put newly bought items towards the back of the fridge according to their expiration dates so you will eat those expiring first,” he said.
He added that those who are able should start growing their own food or learn to cook new meals from leftover food, as there were many recipes online.
“Cook one nutritious meal instead of multiple meals as that would require more ingredients and prep ingredients using the right method prior to storing.
“For instance, rinsing fruits such as grapes with salt water and removing them from the vine helps extend its freshness even if kept in the refrigerator,” said Ab Wahab.
Last month, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu announced the government’s plan to remove the ceiling prices for chicken and eggs after June 30 this year.
This means the market price will be determined by supply and demand.
While farmers are viewing this positively as it will enable them to reduce losses and make their operations more viable, it is a serious concern among the B40 group as eateries may hike prices to reduce the impact on their operational costs.