Make the most of bread, cakes and pastry
In the UK, we throw away about 24 million slices of bread every day. With almost 9.5m people in London that is equivalent to 2.5 slices of toast per Londoner wasted each day. But there are ways to cut down on the amount of bread you bin - and save yourself some cash too.
"The loaf goes off before I can finish it."
Try putting sliced bread straight in the freezer. You can then toast or defrost what you need and the rest won't go off. Or start buying half-loaves instead of full loaves. Less waste and fresher sandwiches.
"Bread and cakes go off so quickly in the summer."
Bread will stay fresher for longer if you keep it in a dark, cool place, ideally a bread-bin. But it's not a good idea to keep bread in the fridge (except in extremely hot weather) because this will actually make it go stale faster.
Cakes and pastries are best stored in a covered box or suitable container, out of direct sunlight.
(source: Food Standards Agency)
"I'm never sure how much the family is going to eat."
If you do a "big shop" for a large family, it's hard to predict how much bread everybody's going to eat, and it's easy to buy too much. Planning meals and always shopping with a list can cut down on unnecessary food purchases (and save you cash).
But what if you still can't be sure of getting it right, or the kids keep starting on a new loaf before the old one is finished? The freezer is your friend here. When you get back from the shops, put all the loaves except one in the freezer. Then you can just defrost what you need.
It's also worth trying new ways to shop: buying less at a time and making more frequent trips to the shops might prove less stressful than the traditional "big shop".
"I try not to waste bread, but I still have leftovers."
- Leftover bread can be turned into tasty Mediterranean panzanella.
- Whizz leftover bread in a food processor to turn it into breadcrumbs, then freeze. Use breadcrumbs to thicken sauces, make stuffing, top cauliflower cheese and lots more.
- Or make croutons to eat later with soup or salad.
- You can put most bakery products into 'le pudding'. Throw in leftover bits of bread, cake, croissant and the like for a tasty dessert.