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The Financial Mistakes Series (part #4)

by Mar 23, 2020

In this little series, I’m looking at a some financial mistakes that can really harm our FIRE. Check out the full list.

(Obvious disclaimer: these are just my personal opinions and do not constitute financial advice; if in doubt please speak to a financial advisor)

Now, without further ado, today’s mistake is….

Wasting Food

According to research, in 2015 UK households generated 7.3 million tonnes of wasted food, or 112kg per person. The value of food thrown away was a staggering £13 billions. This is a lot of money, especially considering an estimated 4.4 million tonnes were avoidable!

A quick calculation tells me that if each person were able to save just the ‘avoidable’ waste, they could save £120 per year, or around £500 for a family of four. With proper planning the saving can be even higher.

The Family’s Perspective

Of all these money mistakes, this is the one we kept making for a long time! There were so many ways our groceries shopping was sub-optimal. Not only we were wasting some food; we usually bought in small batches, without proper planning, and given we were usually in a rush when we did our shopping, we paid little attention to prices.

To be fair, I did run a little experiment which resulted in a reduction of our grocery bill from £640 to around £200. However, I always thought early retirement would provide us with a better platform to optimise our shopping.

Are we going to make this mistake?

As I expected, our results have improved a lot since our early retirement 🎉. We are able to plan our shopping much better and as a result we now waste very little. The only thing we are still optimising is how much we spend on groceries. This is mainly due to the fact we are in a new country, so we we are still discovering prices, shops, etc. so I think it will be fixed soon.

…More money mistakes?

Check out the full series here.



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