Millions of tonnes of food are wasted and thrown away each year in the UK. But with a little thought and organisation, this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are our 5 top tips on how you can reduce waste, make your food go further and in turn save some money.
Utilise your freezer
You’ve done your meal plan for the week, done a big shop and then you get home to realise that some of the use by dates on fresh items aren’t very long at all. This is where your freezer can come in handy.
Sort the items that are going out of date before you planned to eat them and pop them in the freezer, so that as much of your food as possible remains edible for a lot longer. And if your not sure on what can be frozen, do a bit of research so that you are armed with knowledge, you’re sure to be surprised on what can be frozen!
Think about what you could cook now and freeze for later too, so you have minimum wastage. You’ll also save some time on meal prep when you come to defrost and cook these frozen meals.
If you want to find out a bit more on utilising your freezer, take a look at out blog post here.
Do a cupboard inventory
Sounds like the perfect job for a rainy afternoon! How can you make your food go further if you don’t know what’s lurking at the back of your cupboard? Go through your cupboards and write a list of all the items in there, along with anything you might have in your freezer or fridge and try to make meals with items you already have in your house. Not only will this save you some money, it might even mean you don’t need to go out to the shops this week.
Check your expiry dates
When doing your food shop, reach to the back of the shelves and try to pick up the items with the longest use by or expiry date, so that you have the maximum amount of time to eat all the items in your shop. And whilst doing your cupboard inventory, it’s a good idea to check the use by dates on all of your items and order them in a way so that the items with the closest expiry dates are nearer the front so that you’ll use those ones up first.
Has anyone ever boiled the right amount of pasta? When you are trying to make your food go a little bit further, it’s important to get the portion sizes right. It’s usually quite easy to work this out by looking on the packaging for a recommended serving size per person or if you are using a recipe, make sure to get your weighing scales out to get it spot on.
It’s time to get creative with your cooking, if you’ve got some items that are about to go out of date and need eating up, have a go at making a dish out of them or research some recipes to see if you can find one with those ingredients. You can also challenge yourself to try and reduce your waste, by finding a new use for things. Stale bread for example, can easily be blitzed into breadcrumbs and used to make fish cakes or chicken kievs.