Instead of throwing away unwanted, leftover or out of date food, find out how to reduce food waste and save cash in the process.
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Did you know that according to LoveFoodHateWaste.com, Britons throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year?
To put it into a bit more context, we are throwing away a whopping £15.5 billion of food!
Whether it’s down to bad planning, sheer laziness or bad food management, that amount of waste is not only hitting our pockets, but it’s not really helping the environment either.
There are (simple) things that you can start doing that will stop you from wasting food and keep a few more pounds in your pocket.
Decide what meals you want to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and then buy food around that.
Having a plan and list in place instead of just putting items in the trolley will prevent you from overspending and wasting went off food.
Best before vs use by
Knowing the difference between use by and best by may save lots of food from being thrown out unnecessarily.
Use by means you have to use it by the date printed, or it may make you ill.
Best before means that you can still eat it after the date, but it may start to lose flavour – it won’t harm you if you eat it (as long as you don’t wait for years to eat it!).
First in, first out
When unpacking groceries, move older products to the front of the fridge or freezer and put the newer items in the back.
This way, you will more likely use the older items before they go off and waste.
One way of preventing food waste is to buy more frozen food.
From vegetables, meat and fruit, buying frozen will allow the food to last much longer, and you won’t have to keep an eye on the dates as you would with fresh.
Although some people may prefer fresh products, frozen food has been a godsend for us. They’re cheaper and just as good for you.
Serve up the right portions
When cooking, I quite often add “one for luck” and pop another splash of something or other into the pan.
Although, when it comes to adding another potato to our mash, or a carrot to the vegetables, we often have too much (we do use it for leftovers, though).
Instead, you could use a portion planner to make sure you are making the right amount and not overeating.
Leftovers for lunch
My kids are terrible for leaving food on their plates.
We don’t waste it, though but instead pop the leftovers into a Tupperware pot and keep it for lunch the next day.
You could even take it to work if you have the facility to reheat it.
Have a use-it-up meal day
One day a week, instead of cooking a meal with new items, hunt around the cupboards and fridge for leftovers and use food that might otherwise get overlooked.
Make more than you need
If you’ve bought the same meat on a 3 for £10 offer and don’t want to eat the same thing a few days in a row, then batch cook.
Double up on all your ingredients and, once cooked, store the other portions away in the freezer to eat at a different time.
It will also save you time on another day when you don’t fancy spending time cooking.
Store food correctly
If you leave cereal open in the box, it will likely go stale quicker. Try popping it into an airtight container, and it will keep fresher for longer.
It’s the same for things like bread. If you like bread but aren’t going to get through a whole loaf in a few days, then take out what you’ll use and store the rest in the freezer, only taking out what you actually need to eat.
There’s an app for that
If you’ve got no other choice and won’t be able to eat it yourself, you could pass your food on to others using the community food sharing app Olio.
And this is just the start of saving money on food! Take a look at our in-depth guide on how to save money on groceries with plenty of ideas and ways to cut your food shopping.
Use a community fridge
A community fridge allows you to prevent yourself and other people and businesses from wasting food.
You either donate your own good food or take food out of the fridge to use yourself.
For more money saving, check out
Real life food waste tips from the Skint Dad community
Join the Reduce Your Supermarket Spend Facebook community group