6 On Your Side, Consumer Confidence: Save money, Make your groceries last longer

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(ABC 6 News) – Consumer Reports home editor and classically trained chef, Paul Hope, will do just about anything to keep his food from going in the garbage.

“One of my biggest pet peeves is wasting food. Not only is it a total waste of money, it just seems unethical to me. So, I go to great lengths to do whatever I can to use stuff up before it goes bad,” Hope said.

He recently repurposed leftover pork to make several different meals for the week… something he does often.

“Beef stew as a future topping on nachos is a classic, hot dog buns into a dessert—that’s another great option… hamburger buns for grilled cheese,” Hope said.

Another great tip for saving—meal planning. When mapping out meals for the week, Paul often buys in bulk and buys frozen so he can just thaw the portion he needs.

One way he makes sure expensive proteins can be used for different dishes throughout the week.

“I keep food as plain as possible, as long as possible. Because once you alter the flavor of something you really can’t undo that,” Hope said.

Then add the unique seasonings to the portion you need for the day’s meal. Round out the meal with any veggies you may have that are almost past their prime.

When it comes to storing food, CR says keeping groceries in the right shelves and bins in your fridge can help cut down on food waste and save you money.

“For your more expensive grocery items, such as meat and eggs, you want to store them on the lower shelves inside your refrigerator, which tend to be coldest,” Dan Wroclawski of Consumer Reports said.

And don’t be afraid to use your freezer. Something like bread is going to last a lot longer when it’s frozen.