Reducing food waste is beneficial for a number of reasons, 1. it will reduce your food bill weekly 2. It will help you use what you already have 3. It will help alleviate the global issue of food waste reducing demand on our world’s natural resources.
But, how can you reduce food waste today – where do you start? Here are five simple tips on how you might reduce food waste in your household, which will also save you money.
1. Plan your meals and write a shopping list.
If you are planning all your meals and then creating a shopping list based on those plans, you will only buy the things you need and will use them throughout the week. This kind of planning will also help alleviate the daily question of ‘what shall we have for tea?’.
This does not mean you can not buy extra treats it you want to. Let’s face it, treats are very rarely wasted, it just means you are only buying the main staple items you need.
2. Plate up dinners in the kitchen
If you are eating family style with people helping themselves, this can lead to unnecessary food waste as people take more than they might need. If you plate up reasonable sized portions in the kitchen, then any leftovers will not be on people’s plates. Untouched leftovers are then ready to freeze or put in the fridge ready for reuse.
3. Keep and use leftovers
There are lots of things you can do with leftovers – and you don’t necessarily have to be a good cook to do so. If you have leftovers, even if it’s just enough for one person, then put it in the fridge and consider having it for lunch the next day. You can even substitute a planned meal with several single left over servings – call it ‘left-over surprise!’ You can also repurpose left over food for example - left over chicken could be added to pasta the next day or used to make sandwiches for packed lunches.
4. Freeze leftovers and make a note on the freezer door
If you freeze left overs then make a note on the freezer door – so in the future you can see what is in there that needs eating. This can be very handy when you are just looking for a quick meal for one or two people or when you’re planning your weekly meals. You can see if you’ve enough for a ‘Leftover Surprise’ night.
5. Donate and/or exchange
The Vine Centre’s Community Cupboard welcomes donations and exchanges. If you are local to Aldershot you can donate any food stuffs you don’t want. If you need to you can bring what you won’t use and exchange it for other foods or items you will use.
We said five ways but here is a bonus tip –
6. Improve your cooking skills.
If you have more confidence in your cooking ability you may be more inclined to turn left over spaghetti bolognaise into a chilli con carne or lasagne. The Vine Centre offers a cooking with confidence course and cooking to reduce food waste sessions. There is also lots of help out there on YouTube and the internet for those struggling with their cooking skills. Becoming more proficient will enable you to eat more healthily, save money and reduce food waste into the bargain.
The Community Cupboard
Cooking with Confidence Courses
The Cosy Hub – Help with budgeting