Handy hints for cutting down food waste in smaller households

From the aisles, to the kitchen and the freezer, these handy tips will help smaller households cut down on their food waste each week.

Plan meals before doing groceries

Always plan your meals before doing the grocery shopping, so you know that everything you buy will be going to good use. Check the fridge and freezer before you start planning, so you know what you can use up from the previous week. Look for single or double serve recipes so you can get the exact measurements of ingredients. When planning, ensure you leave one night meal free to allow for any unplanned dinners out – it’s also a good idea to include a night to clean out the fridge.

Freeze portion of meals or have them for lunch the next day

Instead of cooking just single or double serve recipes, it’s a good idea to make one or two larger meals a week. That way you will make extra portions, which can be frozen for meals later in the week, or kept for lunch the next day. This works particularly well with dishes that take more time and effort, such as lasagne or risotto, which make more sense to cook in bulk.

Portion meat into individual meal sizes and freeze

It can be hard to find meat packaged in the right portion sizes for smaller households, so buy larger packets and divide them into individual meal portions before freezing what you don’t immediately need. When you require a portion, simply take what you need out of the freezer to defrost, leaving the rest in there to stay fresh until you need it.

Get familiar with how much you need

The more often you cook for your smaller household, the more familiar you will become with portion sizes and measurements. Be conscious of how much of each ingredient you need for a meal so you can get it right without wasting anything. This is particularly important for things such as grains, pasta and fresh produce. It also makes it easier to shop for the right amount of groceries each week.

Store ingredients properly

Educate yourself on the best way to store food – from fruits to vegetables and pantry items. That will extend the shelf life, making it easier to use everything before it goes to waste or past its best. Use produce that has a shorter shelf life first so you are still eating deliciously fresh fruit and veg at the end of the week!

Even small changes can make big differences, so be sure to take notice of what’s in your fridge and pantry, make lists, and plan the week ahead.