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  • Writer's pictureSandra Witt

Beak Bites ... Stretch that budget.

If you're like me then you HATE wasting food. Most of us have to live on a budget, especially those with many mouths and beaks to feed.

While feeding fresh food is absolutely the way to go, it also results in the most opportunity for waste. Fresh foods only last a few days and then ... ewwwww. So here's a few ideas to help stretch that food budget a little bit further.

Make smaller batches of chop and feed smaller portions.

Making a large container of chop with the idea that it will last for weeks isn't really a good idea. Cutting vegetables starts the decay process so only cut enough for a few days at the most (I can only keep mine about a week).

I also find that when I have a big container of chop I tend to give more to the birds. Your bird really only needs a portion about the size of his head for each meal. I feed two "formal meals" of chop a day (breakfast and dinner) and there is dry food (pellets, nuts, seed mix) available for little nibbles throughout the day.

Buy smaller quantities of fresh foods and go to the store more often.

Fresh foods on average are shipped many miles from field to supermarket and during transportation they are losing nutrients so if you have farmer's markets that's ideal. Don't load up your cart with more than your birds can eat in a week. If you find a good deal then go for it, but freeze the surplus.

Freeze what you can.

Some folks freeze their chop but I don't, well rather I don't freeze any of the greens because they go mushy. I also want them to have the sensation and experience of crisp, fresh foods.

I will steam and freeze winter squash though and you could do the same with root veggies & tubers; I also freeze berries and other fruits. Freezing is a good way to keep veggies longer and there is only a small nutrient loss during the freezing process. Some fruits (like banana) won't hold up to freezing, but freezing them makes it easier to blend them into recipes.

Use frozen fruits and vegetables as soon as possible though because the longer foods are in storage, the more nutrients they lose.

Another trend is Freeze Dried (FD) vegetables and fruits. This is a great alternative for long term storage. There is minimal nutrient loss and if stored properly, freeze dried foods can last upwards of 25 years! Your birds may not take to them right away due to the unfamiliar texture, but if you introduce them a little at a time they may come to enjoy it. Mixing FD in with fresh is a decent way to control moisture in the fresh food bowl. I personally would always make sure to provide fresh foods too because they are a source of hydration for your birds.

Look for bargains and use those coupons.

You are doing well if you're feeding fresh foods, your birds will be healthier as a result.

Sometimes its hard work, especially if you don't enjoy washing and chopping veg & fruits but I find it relaxing.

Simple tips for reducing the grocery bill.

Making a list is a simple way to help control that grocery budget. Buy only what you need for the week and you will find you have less waste. Feed your bird smaller servings so there isn't so much thrown out. The waste you do have can be given to the outside critters or used as compost for your garden.

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