Cut down food waste – and save cash
Did you know that every year UK homes throw away £12 billion in wasted good food – the same as £50 a month for a family?
In fact, it’s not even just about saving money; the greenhouse gas emissions associated with food and drink waste is the equivalent of approximately 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year – which is the equivalent of one in five cars on UK roads.
We throw food out for two main reasons: we cook or prepare too much or food goes off before we’re able to eat it. We think everyone can benefit from making more of the food they buy and so here are our top ten tips to help you waste less and save more;
- Keep bread in a cupboard or bread bin. You can also store in the freezer and toast straight from frozen. But never keep it in the fridge as it will go off quicker in there.
- Store fruit in the fridge, covered with Spontex Press & Fresh lids. Bananas and pineapples are an exception to this. If you prefer your fruit at room temperature, top up your fruit bowl as needed.
- Store carrots in the fridge but never potatoes – keep them in a cool dark place.
- Use your tools to get your portions right so you cook just the right amount– measuring jugs, spoons, weighing scales…While a portion of rice or pasta doesn’t look big enough before cooking, it expands when cooked so always measure your portions to get the right amount.
- Check your cupboards/fridge/freezer before shopping so you only buy what you need.
- Always make a list, take it with you to the shops and stick to it.
- Write a weekly meal plan so that you only buy what you need for the week and can use up leftovers for tasty meals. Try the meal planners at Love Food Hate Waste for some great ideas to get you started.
- Schedule to eat at least one meal from the freezer each week. That way you can skip it if your plans change at short notice or you can have a night off cooking.
- Get to know your date labels. Use-by is the only one that counts as that’s about safety. Best before though is just about quality, so it will be at its best on the date but perfectly safe, if it smells and looks OK to eat after the date. Display until and use by are just for the staff and not for shoppers, so ignore those!
- Make something delicious from your leftover ingredients or forgotten foods – see our great recipes.
Picture credit: Shutterstock