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If you fail to prepare, prepare to waste

April 7, 2010

When Benjamin Franklin famously said: “If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail”; could he have realised the benefits of writing and sticking to a shopping list and only buying what he needed at his local shops?

If so, the celebrated author and printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, soldier and diplomat had a point.

Maybe he found he could be saved from returning home, only to realise that he couldn’t enjoy his generic branded breakfast cereal because he’d forgotten his semi-skimmed.

Or he may have appreciated that since he had a planned list in his hand, he was more likely to focus on the items he wanted rather than spend his hard-earned cash on the shiny offers which give landfill its twinkle. We recall “all that glitters is not gold”.

Perhaps Franklin boasted a rather busy and hectic schedule and understood the time he could save by only visiting the areas of his local supermarket that shelved the products he needed. Unlike those, who aimlessly browsed the aisles, and didn’t have time to invent bifocals or the lightning rod.

Or is it possible Franklin understood that an advantage of using a shopping list is that you focus on the essentials and not on extravagant offers for unhealthy items. This would not only save him from spending his money wastefully but in the long run provide him and his family with health benefits.

Whether Franklin was a health conscious individual, concerned about the environment, on a tight budget or trying to manage his time effectively; the benefits of writing and sticking to a shopping list are lengthy and will help you reduce your food waste.

Is Benjamin Franklin the first supporter of Love Food Hate Waste? “To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals” - perhaps an early prediction that perfect portioning could help slow down climate change?

For frank hints, tips and tasty recipe ideas to help you reduce food waste and save money visit

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