Top 5 ways to reduce food waste

We all know that feeling, at the end of the week, when it’s time to do the dreaded ‘fridge clear-out’. The week got busy, you had an unexpected takeaway, and now you’re left with a fridge full of food, coming to the end of its life.

With so much food being thrown away every year, a massive 122,547 tonnes to be exact, reducing our food waste is something we can all get behind, saving ourselves money and the inevitable food waste guilt. To help you get started at your place, we’ve put together our top five waste reduction tips.

1: Get planning

Set aside half an hour a week to plan out your meals. It wont just help you reduce your food waste, but also save you money and make the post work dinner rush easier. Plan meals that include things you already have in the fridge or pantry. For inspiration, check out ‘Top five recipes to clear out the fridge’.

2: Avoid wasted leftovers

It’s easy to end up cooking far more than you need, with the leftovers feeding the bin, rather than your family. A great way to avoid this, and also get ahead for the next day, is to plan meals that can be quickly transformed into delicious leftover lunches.

3: Getting smart with storage

Storing your food in the right way can prolong its life, giving you a chance to enjoy every last bit of it. Cheese should be wrapped tightly in plastic and stored in the fridge. This will stop it going mouldy or drying out. Bread can be stored in the fridge, but for ideal storage choose the freezer. Except bananas and pineapples, fruit should be stored in the fridge.It will prolong its life and make it fresh and crisp for snacking on. And potatoes and onions are not friends, as they produce gases which spoil each other. Both should be stored separately in cool, dry, dark places.

4: Love your freezer

Did you know that you can freeze just about anything, even avocados, hard cheeses and milk. So how do you get the most out of your freezer? Label and date everything. It is amazing how quickly you’ll forget what’s what. Overcrowding is good because a freezer is more efficient when full. Avoid freezer burn, by wrapping food tightly in plastic. For more inspiration, check out our ‘Best freezable meals to make in bulk’ article.    

5: Bread isn’t just for sandwiches

There are loads of clever ways to use up your food, avoiding it ending up in the bin. Take bread for example. Blitz it up for breadcrumbs. Cut it into squares, toss with a little oil and salt and bake to make croutons. Whip up some French toast for a delicious Saturday morning brunch at home. Or make a classic toastie. You can even fill it with the leftover bolognese mince you have in the fridge.

Even just changing a few small things can help you reduce your food waste, save money and avoid the dreaded end of week fridge clear out guilt.