Food waste is an enormous problem. In the UK alone, £13billion of edible food is thrown away every year. Food waste contributes to global warming and deforestation and increases unnecessary packaging waste. According to the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, a family of four could be saving £60 a month by saving food, so it makes sense to family finances too.
1. Be savvy with leftovers
Had a roast on Sunday? Leftover meat can make a great curry or bubble & squeak later in the week, or just rustle up a humble sandwich for your packed lunch on Monday. If you’re feeling particularly dedicated, you can boil the carcass for stock and soups. If you have other leftover dinners, pop it in a bag and put it in the freezer as a handy portion for one. Those overripe bananas? Don’t throw them – mash them up and add cream for an easy pudding, or bake with a few store cupboard ingredients to make a yummy banana bread.
2. Use your freezer more
A survey found that almost 80% of people had thrown away food that was nearing its date in the past week, without realising that they could freeze it and keep it for later. It’s safe to freeze almost any food before the date on the packaging, and then defrost in the fridge when you want it. Lemons and strawberries can be sliced and frozen, ready to be used in icy drinks. Even potatoes can be frozen – they just need boiling for around five minutes, left to cool and then frozen. And when you need them, thaw them in the fridge overnight and they’ll be ready to roast the next day. Try grating cheddar and freezing it so it’s ready to quickly sprinkle on a homemade pizza or pie.
3. Check use by dates
Simply remembering to look at the dates on perishable food (especially on meat, fish and ready meals) goes a long way to help reduce food waste. Be mindful to move food into the freezer that’s approaching a use by date or cook it first then chill or freeze them for later. And remember, ‘use by’ dates are different from ‘best before’ dates, so double check which applies to the food you’re looking at.
4. Plan your meals
By taking a little more time to think about what you need before heading out to the shops can make a world of difference to your food waste. When making a shopping list, make sure you’re not doubling up on anything you’ve already got in your fridge, freezer or cupboard (including lurkers at the back). Work out your meal plan around your family commitments, jotting down the days you plan to eat certain dishes so that you can make sure you buy food that won’t expire by the time you intend to eat it.
5. Measure your portions
By being just a little more accurate about the portions we need can save a lot of food. Cooking too much rice is something most people are guilty of, along with pasta and potatoes. Love Food Hate Waste has a clever portion calculator so servings are easier to work out, creating less waste, making store cupboard food last longer, and saving money.
Contact Rabbit today for more information about waste and recycling. Reach us on 01903 762020 or email email@example.com.