Food waste is a massive issue so for Stop Food Waste Day which is on April 28th 2021, I’ve decided to share some ways that I reduce food waste. Did you know that 4.5 tonnes of food are wasted each year in the UK? This is roughly £700 for every family with children. – The Guardian. We need to be better!
Plan your meals
There are lots of advantages to planning your meals. Firstly, it’s so much easier to start cooking if you already know what you’re making! But for me, I like to be able to fit ALL of my meals, as well as my snacks on my meal planner. It’s really important for me to plan ahead and decide what I’m going to eat. I have a bit of a tendency to skip the meal or snack if I haven’t already got an option written down. With a lot of meal planners, there is only room for one meal which is why I’ve created one! As well as the meal & snacks planner, there is a template for writing down food that is about to expire. This is so that you have a visual reminder to use the food up. I hope you enjoy <3
Related post: How to make a meal plan board by Steph from Not Got A Clue
I think that people often forget about freezing food that isn’t already frozen. When I buy a loaf of bread, I put it in the freezer straight away. I too sometimes forget that you can freeze all kinds of items…halloumi, feta, milk etc. If it goes off quickly, look up if it can go in the freezer! As well as this, you can batch cook – I like to do this with lentil bolognese for when I don’t have time to cook/need something easy.
Only buy what you need
This is something that a lot of people are guilty of…we see an offer and can’t help but go with it because it ends up cheaper. It might not cost us as much, but it costs the earth if we throw it away! Food products that are dry or canned like crisps, baked beans etc. are probably ok. But, buying two punnets of plums for the price of one is just pointless. You just won’t manage to eat them all in the time period.
Check out this brilliant post by Jen: 5 frugal living tips for your home
Bake or cook leftovers
Another way to reduce food waste is to cook them! This is a really good way to get rid of food that is overripe. Here are some ideas:
- Vegetable stock
- Pasta bake
Look for the longest date
Normally these are at the back of the shelf which is harder to get to during covid so this one might not be possible at the moment. But if the best before date/use by date is quite soon and you won’t use it all up, maybe don’t buy it. With online delivery, you quite often receive food that is near its date so I’d advise using it up the day or day after it arrives. We often do this by making a halloumi risotto with sugar snap peas & baby corn.
Related post by Julia: Tips to save money & reduce food waste
You can preserve food in all kinds of ways.
Check the fridge before you shop
This is an important one, you might see something you fancy in the shop…but what about all that food in your fridge? Don’t be tempted, buy only what you need. As I’m at uni, I have one freezer and one fridge drawer which means it’s slightly easier to keep track of. That being said, we all forget things so I track what food I have on my whiteboard. This is a super helpful way for me to reduce food waste because I plan my meals from my whiteboard of current food. I can see easily if I need something and can work out which day to buy it. (I’m very lucky that I have a coop across the road from me).
How do you try to reduce food waste?
Best wishes, Cx
Reducing food waste can be a challenge, especially for large families. We always try and reheat previous meals for the next day, but over-shopping is definitely another issue!
Thank you for reading 🙂
Lauren Kenny says
I am actually doing most of these things which is good! I write down a menu for each week and plan what I need to use. Just need to figure out the right amount of pasta for one person now haha x
That’s great! I’m the same 🙈 x
Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader) says
Ha ha. I have a post scheduled on this very topic for Wednesday. You make a really good point about choosing the longest date. It’s something I always try to do.
Haha, I’ll go check that out 🙂
Honestly for us being in lockdown helped so much with food waste! Now that we had more time to meal plan and have a good look at the fridge and go out less it truly helped! As you said freezing is such a great help, thanks for sharing x
I agree! x
Della Driscoll says
These are some great tips, especially about only buying what you need and mapping out your food plans x
Thank you 🙂 x
These are great and efficient ways to reduce food waste, it’s good to just buy what you need and buy what you know you’re going to eat! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
So true x
Kelly Diane says
These are great tips. I try to meal plan as much as I can and always cook an extra portion so that I can freeze it and have it ready for when I don’t have the time or energy to cook.
I love that!
I do many of these too like I’ll plan my meals & I’ll also use any leftover ingredients in future meals. I also always check the fridge before I shop so I know exactly what I need & don’t so I’m not buying excess. I also love making jams!
Same – jams are so much fun to make 🙂
Freezing is a great way to save waste and makes it easy for quick dinners another time. Our dogs sometimes get some great treats for left overs. Meal plan is always a great way. That saying is failure to plan then plan to fail. Thank you for sharing Caroline.
Aww, that’s cute! x
Chelsea Jade says
Such great tips! I’ve been trying to get into the habit of checking properly before I leave to make sure I don’t have something already. Also I’ve been writing a note on the fridge when we use the last of something ready for the next shop. It really helps to be organised. 🙂
I love that x
I love these tips on reducing food waste. I am trying my best to reduce food waste, even crossing the ingredients to different recipes to make sure everything is used. It takes a while to learn how to buy what you need. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips 🙂
Nancy ✨ mdrnminimalists.com
That’s great! I’ve been trying to do that too x
Ooooooh I love these ideas Caroline! I’ve been planning my meals and only buying what I need for a while now (although we obviously have lots of snacks in the cupboards…) and it’s been really useful when it comes to food waste. And like you said, when I was at uni I also only had one drawer in the fridge/one in the freezer so it was really easy not to waste food! I’ll need to be careful now I have a fridge/freezer to myself!
Simply Alex Jean says
This is a great list Caroline – I love freezing foods especially baked goods and bread products from the store as we never go through them as quickly as I hope and then I don’t have to stress. Making a list has also really helped me cut down on what I buy with meal planning exactly what I need.
Me too x