Tips for Making Your Food Budget Go The Extra Mile

Stretch your food budget without a spreadsheet using these simple tips.


Budget-conscious ordering

A successful restaurant’s food costs, say the experts, is 28 to 35 percent of the restaurant’s total budget. Make the most of your money with these ordering tips.

  1. Get what you pay for. Count, weigh, and label-check food deliveries against your order and the suppliers’ shipping documents.
  2. Don’t stockpile or underbuy. Aim for just-in-time ordering.  The Wholesale Club allows you to place orders quickly and choose your delivery or pickup times.
  3. Buy items on sale or on special. Find deals by signing up for notices like the Club Flyer.


Don’t let food waste eat up your budget

Obviously, waste costs money. Often, waste is the result of a poorly organized kitchen. So, channel your inner organizer, then sort and label your food as follows.

  1. Date items in the fridge.
    • Label using low-tack painter’s tape. It’s easy to write on, sticks and stays on containers in the freezer and the fridge, and is easy to remove.
    • For raw food, label the food with ‘Day In’ and ‘Best Before’.
    • For prepared foods, note the ‘Day Made’ and ‘Best Before’.
  2. Include the weekday. It’s easier to remember ‘Monday’ than ‘April 2’.
  3. Set up your perishables to follow the First In, First Out inventory system to reduce food waste through spoilage.
  4. For more ideas, read Real Ways to Reduce Food Waste.


Serving tips

While this writer always eats everything on her plate, the average restaurant customer leaves 17 per cent of their meal behind. Could you avoid that waste of food by cutting portion sizes? Besides costing less, a smaller portion can look even more appetizing. Read Practical Plating Techniques for more ideas. 

Creative menu items can also use up extra food. For example, craft daily soup or smoothie specials, or try out the new food trend, like drinkable desserts.

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