Cut your food waste and make savings

Friday, 07/11/2014

Saving money is important to most UK households, but the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) claim that Britons still discard 4.2 million tonnes of perfectly good food and drink waste each year, which is... well, a waste. What's more, it's costing us around an average of £12.5bn each year. So, what can you do to cut down on your food waste and save your family money?

Plan in advance

A great way of not buying more food than you need is to keep a food calendar where you plan out all your meals for the week. That way, you'll only buy the ingredients you need, when you need them. Planning in advance may be a good idea, but it doesn't mean you have to buy everything in advance - instead of doing a huge weekly shop, just buy things fresh a day or two before you're going to be using them, so a) you won't overspend and b) your food won't have a chance to expire by the time you get around to using it.

Always check the dates

If you're going to be buying a weekly food shop, try and be savvy with dates by always checking the label and making sure you'll be able to use all the food you buy in time. It's surprising how much food is thrown out just because people don't think about how long their items are going to last and end up waiting until the food is only fit for the bin.

Make a meal of leftovers

If you often have leftovers that you just tend to throw out, think twice and try to come up with a creative way to use them in your next meal. If you think what you have leftover won't take you very far, check your cupboards for things such as tinned beans or pasta that last for ages and can complement your meal. Alternatively, if you make something like a bolognese sauce, you could freeze the leftover sauce in a plastic box for the next time you plan to use it. Getting into the habit of freezing your leftovers as soon as you prepare them will mean you'll have plenty of pre-cooked backup food you can use whenever you feel like it.

Portion sizes - get it right

Ensuring you measure out the right amount of things like pasta and rice will mean that you'll never end up using too much and having to throw some away, and will also help keep your family healthy by not serving too much food. Your supplies will also last longer, which means saving money due to less frequent shopping.

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