While fasting and feasting are the cornerstones of the Ramadhan festivities, it can also lead to major food wastage.
A 2017 NST report stated that up to 270,000 tonnes of food gets wasted in Malaysia during Ramadhan. The report also said that since Malaysians love their food so much, they tend to order or buy more than they can consume, which can lead to overspending and harm both your health and the environment.
So to start purchasing and eating food responsibly, here are 4 simple tips to reduce shop smart and avoid wasting food (or money) at a Ramadhan bazaar.
1. Plan your meals and stick to a budget
It will be easier to control how much you spend on food when you plan your meals in advance, whether you want to cook at home or buy your food at a Ramadhan bazaar. But before you go, make sure you know what to get and have a budget in mind.
If you’re single, a budget of RM10-RM20 a day may be enough for buka puasa and sahur. For those with a family, a budget of RM20-RM30 is recommended. Limit your purchase to 2-3 items and try not to be overwhelmed by all the tasty treats you see! A good way to do this is to..
2. Create a shopping list and shop smart
You’ll have a shopping list once you’ve planned your Ramadhan meals. Write down everything you plan on buying for your meals and don’t stray from your list or budget. Remember to stick to your budget based on your lifestyle.
3. Buy grilled food or anything that’s properly packaged
Grilled food or foods that have been properly packaged tend to last longer (a day or two). If you can’t finish them, you can always reheat them for the next day in case you’ve overbought.
4. Buy healthy and nutritious food
This is easier said than done at a Ramadhan bazaar, but it’s worth putting into practice. Eating healthy and nutritious food should be a habit, even during festive periods. Avoid food items that are oily, fatty, and high in sugar or salt content. Some good choices are grilled chicken like ayam percik, and anything that’s not deep-fried.
5. Get there early
Most Ramadhan bazaars open at 4pm or 4.30pm. If possible, try to get there as early as you can to avoid the after-work or dinner crowd. Without the crowd, you’ll find it easier to get the items you need and avoid shopping under pressure, which could also lead to overspending.
Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a blessed Ramadhan!
This story first appeareed on BBazaar Malaysia and has been amended for length. Original text by Dayana Sobri.