Mic

7 unconscious mistakes that make you waste money on food

Save money by becoming more self aware; stop sabotaging your food budget, and get back on track.

It happens to the best of us: You go to the grocery store and get so excited by all that gleaming summer fruit that you buy a bunch, then let half of it go bad in the fridge. Or you order the lobster special at a restaurant and end up eating enough for two. Or you buy a “fancy” ingredient like truffle oil for one recipe and then never use the bottle again.

Food waste — and the financial waste that goes along with it — is a huge problem in the United States. Americans lose out on $29 billion worth of food annually just because they don’t know what sell-by dates mean, as Mic has reported. We also throw out 50% of all produce grown annually and we lead the world in food waste. And when we actually eat the food we buy, we often tend to eat the wrong stuff, in large part thanks to bad dietary advice that has worsened American health.

When you buy foods you don’t end up eating or splurge for a fancier brand when a generic or store label would do, not only is that bad for the planet or your health, but you also are wasting money that could be better spent on an emergency fund, a fun trip or just about anything other than food that ends up in the trash.

“Food habits are extremely hard to change,” Yann Cornil, assistant professor of marketing at Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, told . And,

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