Couple preparing a meal

 

Do you ever find that your food goes out of date quickly, meaning that you have to bin it and create waste each week? Not only is this a waste of food but also a waste of money. The UK throws away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from their homes every year which costs the year on average £470. Let’s get savvy by planning carefully, cooking in bulk and using the freezer wisely.

It’s time to get organised and save yourself time and money.

1. Plan ahead

Dedicate time each week to plan exactly what you want for each meal. By writing it down you can start to think about where you can use the same ingredient in more than one dish For example if you wanted mushrooms in your Spaghetti Bolognese on Monday, which other meals could you add mushrooms to so they wouldn’t go out of date? This also allows you to make an exact list of what food is required for the week so you don’t fill the trolley with unnecessary items.

2. Cook in bulk

Think about what you’re cooking, is it something that you can cook in bulk and freeze? This may not be the easiest if you’re feeding a big family, we’re not sure you’ll have a big enough pan! Chilli, Spaghetti Bolognese, Curry and Shepherd’s Pie are some great dishes to make in bulk. After cooking wait till the food has cooled, portion them out in a sealable container and it’s ready to be put in the freezer. The more you can do this, the more time you could save yourself in the long run.

3. Freeze smart

It’s amazing how many different foods can be frozen that you may not necessarily think of, but if you do freeze do it smartly and freeze in portion sizes to avoid any waste. This will save you defrosting a large amount that is not required.

Here’s a few things you wouldn’t typically think to freeze:

  • Butter & Margarine
  • Bread
  • Milk
  • Raw Pastry
  • Pies
  • Pasta, Rice, Premade Jacket Potatoes
  • Fruit
  • Stock
  • Sauces
  • Eggs – who’d have thought it but here’s how to do it right

Recipes often include products you don’t always have in such as pesto, passata and double cream. Once opened these products often expire within 3 days. An easy work round is to fill your ice trays with these products and freeze. Then when you need it you simply take out your cubes and add to your meal.

Beware though, some foods don’t freeze well! Here’s some foods to avoid freezing.

Freezing foods also makes your freezer more economical. When the freezer is full the cold air doesn’t need to circulate as much so if you do find your freezer is quite empty then place half empty plastic bottles to fill the gaps.

Share your tips to save food waste on Facebook and Twitter!