5 simple steps we can all take to make more of the food we buy and avoid wasting precious water
There are 5 simple ways to help us all waste less of the food we buy and avoid throwing away millions of tonnes of precious water at the same time
It already costs us £34 million a day, as the UK public, buying and then throwing away good food and drink.
It’s already causing environmental damage through the use of water, fuel and energy to grow, make and transport our food, and on top of that it rots in landfill when we then throw it away, generating climate changing gases.
We’ve made a lot of changes to the way we shower, the way we fill our kettles and remembering to turn off the taps. But now we can make a huge difference simply by not throwing away the food we buy.
We all end up throwing away good food and drink for many reasons for example buying more than we need because we forgot to plan our meals or write a shopping list, or forgetting about those leftovers in the fridge, but there are 5 simple steps we can all take to make more of the food we buy:
- It pays to plan. Planning your meals in advance will save you time, money (as you only buy what you need) and ensure you always have something to feed your family and any unexpected guests. Take a look in your cupboards, fridge and freezer and write a list of what you need so you don’t buy what you already have (and stick to it!). Our handy two week menu, example shopping lists, planners and guide will help you take this simple step to saving money.
- Know your dates.As well as keeping up with all the social dates in your diary, don’t forget to keep an eye on the dates in your fridge too. Use up foods with the shortest dates first, and when shopping check to see if fresh foods can be frozen in case you don’t get round to eating them over the week. Best before dates are for quality, so you can eat these foods after this date, they just may no longer be at their best. Use by dates are for safety, you can eat or freeze foods right up to the use by date. Try printing our ‘at a glance’ guide to date labels and sticking it on the fridge as a handy reminder.
- Perfect portions. Catering for family and friends, not to mention unexpected guests, often leaves us unsure of how much to cook. Our portion calculator and party portions guide, removes the guess work by suggesting how much to cook.
- Lovely leftovers and forgotten foods.Forgotten foods such as the wrinkly old tomato at the back of the fridge or the leftover portion of pasta which usually sits in the fridge waiting to be thrown away could be turned into a tasty supper dish or a free lunch. Try our tasty recipes for turning leftovers into great new meals.
- Savvy storage.Most of us think we know how to store food but this is often based on habit and not on what’s best for our food. Most foods can be frozen for another time, and you can always freeze right up to the use-by date (when you need it just defrost overnight in the fridge and use within 24 hours). Ensure your vegetables are at their best for longer by keeping them in the fridge (except potatoes and onions); most veg will stay fresher for longer stored in the fridge in the pack or bag they came in. Top storage tips for your carrots, your bread, in fact all your food can be found here.