Cut your grocery bill: Quit wasting food


As budgets grow tighter and grocery prices rise, people from all walks of life are looking for ways to make their grocery money go further. And I've got one really simple solution to help cut your grocery bill and save your family a good bit of money: Quit wasting food.

An eight-year study revealed in late 2004 that Americans throw away at least $75 billion in food each year. With a current population of about 304 million people in the United States, that means we're wasting at least $220 per person each year on food that is thrown away. The study said the average family throws away 14% of the food it buys.

These statistics, frankly, are shocking to me. I know that we waste food, and there are certainly times that I throw out produce I didn't eat before it went bad, or some mystery meat that's been in my freezer for a couple of years. But I never imagined that our waste rose to this level.

So my fellow Americans, if you want to save 14% or more on your grocery bill, stop throwing away food. Instant savings are achieved when you make a conscious effort to plan your meals and use all the food you've purchased.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.