Make your grocery budget pay you back!


Your household probably buys groceries regularly and they aren’t cheap. If you have gardens or pot plants you may buy fertilizers, pesticides and soil mixes to look after your plants. In addition to the expensive shelf price of these foods or products you’ve bought, is the investment of all the water, resources and energy that went into growing, harvesting and transporting them.


Fight Food Waste CRC asked 5000 people across Australia to estimate how much food they throw away each week and then to actually measure their food waste. Estimates were just 1 1/2 slices of bread and 1 cup of veges per week. The reality was almost 5kg of food per week. Read triple J’s hack report.

There are financial savings and valuable investments in your health to be made if you compost your food and garden waste.


Challenge #2: Study one-day of meals to find out how much food offcuts, scraps and leftovers you make
  1. Choose the day you are going to study all the food that is prepped, cooked and eaten at home. This food includes all home cooked meals, bought meals, snacks and . If packed lunches are made for this day the night before, these need to be included also.The study does not include any food that is cheese, milk, meat and bone (including poultry and fish) – these items cannot be composted at home.

  2. In the preparation of meals, keep any food offcuts like fruit skin, vegetable peel, preservative liquids like beetroot juice etc.

  3. In the eating of meals, collect:

  • uneaten leftover food you would keep for another meal
  • scraps like apple cores and bread crusts

  • remains on the plate you would scrape off before washing it

  • liquid dregs in bottom of drinking glass/ blender

D. Now weigh what you have collected. Or make a list and add a tally for how many apple cores etc. You can use kitchen or bathroom scales or cups and litres to measure your food waste.

E. Repeat for every meal that day and keep a list of the weights/ tallies

  • Add all the weights/ tallies together to find out the total for one-day worth of food waste.

  • If you only collected food waste for one person, multiply that amount to find out how much food waste is made by everyone in your household.

  • Now multiply that amount to find out how much food waste you make from one normal grocery shop (i.e. one-week/fortnight or a couple of days, worth of food).

  • Take a look in your fridge and pantry for food that is opened, is passed its use-by date, has grown mould or you didn’t use or just forgot about and no longer want. Add this food waste to your total also.

  • Think of a time when you have extra food in the house like for a birthday party or whole family Sunday dinner or regular friends play dates. Can you make an estimate of how much extra food waste is made that you would have to add to your household’s normal amount?

F. Review your study

  • How much of your food waste was actually edible food?

  • How do you normally dispose of your food waste – in the general waste wheelie bin?

    Do you end up with a smelly bin, an over full bin, birds or animals raiding your bin or flies and maggots in your bin?


So why not get a second ‘bang for your buck’ out of your grocery budget? Use your food waste to make compost and add it to your garden, it will; improve the health of soil and plants, which reduces the need to buy chemical fertilisers and pesticides; grow you food you no longer need to buy; and clean up your general waste bin!


Do the conga 'cause you just completed a Compost Conga Challenge!!!

Compost conga line worms