Did you know that 7 million tonnes of food is thrown away every year by Britons alone? Almost 50% of it comes from homes, costing households on average £470 a year, or £700 a year for a family with children. That’s nearly £60 a month that could be spent freely elsewhere. We’ve put together a few tips to help you waste less food and get back that cash you’ve been throwing in the bin.
1. Get realistic
There are two main reasons people throw away good food: preparing too much and not eating it in time. Sounds familiar? To see how well you and your family are doing, keep a waste log for a week and you will quickly understand if you’re overestimating your family’s eating habits. This helps you get realistic about whether you actually need to buy that extra loaf of bread and that extra carton of milk “just in case”.
2. Plan meals
Another great way to avoid throwing out perfectly good food is planning your meals. Gathering recipes and planning your shopping list is actually a lot of fun, once you see how much money it’s saving you. If you can plan your weekly meals and do most of the shopping over the weekend, you’ll save a lot of time and effort during the week – no headaches what to make for dinner and minimal or no shopping needed.
3. Freeze it
If you buy groceries in bulk or happen to overdo it with the cooking, you can freeze the food in plastic containers. That way, all the nutrients in the food will be preserved and you will always have fresh ingredients or a whole meal ready to be prepared in minutes. Check out Jamie Oliver’s tips on freezing food here.
4. Check your fridge and freezer temperatures
To slow down the micro-organisms that cause food to spoil, you should make sure your refrigerator is constantly at around 4 degrees and your freezer at minus 15 degrees or lower. If you’ve noticed your food is getting spoiled quicker than usual, make sure your refrigerator is in good order and the temperatures are kept sufficiently low.
5. Organise your fridge and cupboards
Do you know what’s in the back of your fridge? If you’ve ever gone grocery shopping and picked up a food item, only to come home and realise you already had it, you probably understand the need to organise your fridge and cupboards. Put all perishables like meat, vegetables and dairy products on the top shelf to make sure you don’t forget to eat them on time. Other items like canned foods, sauces and drinks should be organised respectively, so you could easily remember what you already have and avoid buying items you don’t need.
6. Make groceries last longer
Who would have known that by wrapping broccoli, lettuce and celery in foil, they could last in the fridge for a month or more! A list of tricks to make your groceries last longer can be found here.
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Source: UK Food Waste Facts & Statistics