Did you know that UK households throw away 7 million tonnes of food every year. How much money could you save by reducing your food waste?
At the end of each week, do you find yourself throwing away a lot of food? Have the items reached their use by date or are the produce not looking good ? Did you prepare too much food and didn’t get the chance to use it all?
Here are my top tips to help you get savvy in the kitchen. Let’s reduce food waste and start saving money today!
1. Check what is in your fridge before going shopping
It is tempting to buy fresh produce but how often do you leave vegetables at the back of the fridge? When you discover them, usually it is too late to use them. They have gone bad. At the end of each week, I tend to make a soup with any left over vegetables that are not looking their best. It tastes delicious and it means you are not wasting any.
2. Plan at least 3 meals a week
Once you have decided what you are going to cook during the week, you can assess what you need to buy. Of course do check what you have left in the fridge. I tend to stick to my list and I buy a couple more vegetables which may be looking appetising and are in season. Impulse buying is hard to resist but try your best!
3. Use your freezer
I love opening the freezer to find meals I have cooked previously. Home cooked meals without the effort taste extra special. Why not cook a bit more next time so that you do have left overs for the freezer.
4. Leave fruit and vegetables in sight
I tend to leave some of my fruit and vegetables (the ones that do not need to be kept in the fridge) on the counter in the kitchen so that I remember to cook them. As they say “out of sight, out of mind”. Use the vegetables which tend to go bad quicker first. Root vegetables will last longer while green leafy vegetables will not last more than a couple of days. Also, I like to plan my meal around a particular vegetable or 2 or 3. Why should meat or fish always be the star of the dish! This is a great way to increase your vegetable intake.
5. Get a compost bin
If you are lucky enough to have a garden, do get a compost bin. All vegetable peelings and fruit waste can be composted. After a few months, you get free fertiliser for your garden and plant pots to keep them looking beautiful.
The TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is launching a campaign called #WASTENOT to cut food waste by accepting imperfect produce. He is asking for everyone to make the following pledge:
- To reduce food waste through smarter shopping and storage
- To use up leftovers where possible
- To be vigilant about recycling
I have signed it. Are you joining me?
If you like the idea of reducing your food waste but you are not sure where to start, I can help. All you need to do is get in touch with me, and I can go through the options to help you get there. I offer home visits where I share tips on meal planning, shopping smarter and cooking quick and nutritious meals for the family.