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How to save money by reducing food waste

Posted on 27 April 2022


Did you know that around a third of the food produced globally is lost or wasted? In the UK, we throw away the equivalent of one in six shopping bags and one in eight prepared meals – that costs each household £730 a year!*  

As well as being a criminal waste of money, food waste also has a huge environmental impact. So how can we cut our costs?

Plan your food

Make a weekly meal list with everyone from your household. Write your shopping list at the same time as planning your meals. Then check what you have in the fridge, freezer and cupboards before you shop. Include amounts to make sure you’re not caught short or left with more than you need.

Love your leftovers

Cool your leftovers before storing in the fridge or freezer. There are loads of great ideas from Love Food Hate Waste on what to do with any leftover food.

Fill your freezer

From bread to cheese, freezing food will help you store it safely for much longer. Use airtight containers to prevent freezer burn and spillages – and label before freezing to make it easier to find things. 

Know how to resist impulse purchases

Supermarkets are experts at getting us to part with our hard-earned cash, and we often end up buying more food than we need. Once you know how it works, it’s often easier to avoid falling into the impulse spending trap.

Make the most of what you have 

Take a look in your cupboards to get inspired. We love Supercook: an app and website that suggests recipes based on the ingredients you have available.

The top 3 most wasted foods in British households are milk, potatoes, and fresh veg. Here’s how you can save them from the bin:

Milk – 3.1m glasses of milk are thrown away every day in the UK!* The door is the warmest part of the fridge, so keep milk on the shelves if you can. If you struggle to get through milk before it goes off, consider switching to a filtered variety, which stays fresh for twice as long once opening. You can also freeze milk – just defrost it overnight in the fridge when you’re ready to use.

Potatoes - We discard 5.8 million potatoes each year. Store potatoes in a dark place so they last longer. If they have been hanging around for a while, cook them all up and freeze in portions

Fresh vegetables - Don’t throw them out too soon! You can revive limp or wrinkled veg by leaving it in a bowl of iced water for an hour or so to rehydrate. This works especially well with root veg like carrots and parsnips, but can also be used for leafy greens such as spinach or broccoli.  
Bonus tip - Keep cut herbs fresh by putting them in a jar of water on the windowsill. They’ll last much longer and may even start sprouting roots so you can grow more.

* Source: WRAP

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