From an early age, we learnt to feel guilty about wasting food. Hiding peas under mashed potatoes and feeding scraps to the dog under the table, we knew there was something shaming about not cleaning our plates.
“Eat up your vegetables! There are starving kids in Africa!”
And maybe we should still feel ashamed about wasting food today. Every year, the average household wastes £480 worth of food. You can help reduce waste and save money by following our practical tips.
Write shopping lists
Planning meals and taking a list to the supermarket means you’re less likely to waste money picking up things you don’t need. It probably means you’ll get home quicker, too!
Be realistic about what you need
If a recipe calls for two carrots, buy loose produce instead of a whole bag. You don’t need to buy two punnets of nectarines because they’re on special offer either. Chances are you won’t eat them all – unless you really like nectarines!
Get smart with stacking
When you’re unpacking your shopping bags and stacking food in the fridge, make sure you check the use-by dates. Stack food with the longest dates at the back and work your way forwards so you can see what food needs eating first.
Use your freezer
Treat your freezer as a friend you should check in with more regularly. If you make a big meal, consider freezing half and eating it another day. If you find yourself regularly throwing away bread, think about splitting it into two or three parts and freezing what you won’t use over the next few days.
Don’t just buy the pretty produce
Scores of imperfect fruit and vegetables are rejected by supermarkets because they’re not quite the right shape, size or colour. Forget how fresh foods “should” look and buy your fruit and veg from farmers’ markets or grocers to use up food that might otherwise be tossed in the bin.
Sharing is caring
Followed a recipe for a hefty Thai green curry only to realise you don’t like the taste? Why not transfer it into a tub and give it to a neighbour? If you know you’re never going to eat those cans of tuna at the back of the cupboard, donate them to a raffle or a food bank to help those in need.
If you’re looking for more ways to save around the home, visit the First Utility blog for practical ways to save energy and money.
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