10 easy ways to reduce your food waste
10 ways to reduce your food waste
1. Check what you have in stock at home
Before you do anything, check what supplies you have in stock in the fridge, freezer and cupboards. This will ensure food doesn't go off, you will reduce your spending and avoid stockpiling.
2. Do a weekly Meal Plan
Take a little time on Sunday to plan your main meals for the next week. This can be as basic or complex as you like. It could be a simple as 1 day fish, 2 days chicken, 1 day beef and 1 day vegetarian. Alternatively if you are someone who likes to cook, you can use a tool like Plan to Eat to develop a full meal plan and shopping list. I try to do a fairly detailed plan so that I know exactly what meals I'm planning to do from Monday to Thursday. I play it a bit looser over the weekend as I've more time to go and pick something up or we might decide to go out for dinner, etc. I find that meal planning massively reduces stress levels around meals during the week, which can be busy with sports, homework, etc.
3. Do a Shopping List
Before you hit the supermarket, do a quick shopping list based on your weekly meal plan. I use the ToDo app on my phone but do whatever is easiest for you - pen and paper, use the lists app on your phone, send yourself a text message or email, etc. This will stop you just mindlessly adding extras to your shopping trolley.
4. Don't shop when you are hungry!
It's absolutely lethal to go food shopping when you are hungry! Invariably lots of extras will sneak in, so make sure you have had lunch before you go anywhere near the supermarket!
5. Store food correctly
Make sure you put away all your shopping as soon as you get home and store everything at the correct temperature so it won't go off. Put meat/fish/chicken in the freezer if you are not going to eat it for a few days.
6. Stick to your meal plan
As far as possible, try to stick to your meal plan but if that's not possible then just make sure to freeze the ingredients so that they don't go off
7. Only make what you will eat
Try to cook the right quantity of food so that you have minimal left overs. This will reduce the risk of food going off.
8. Deal with leftovers
If you know if you heart of hearts that you won't eat beef casserole two days in a role, then just bite the bullet and freeze the leftovers. Be sure to label them carefully so you are not wondering in 2 months time what's in the container!
9. Glass jars
It might seem like an odd one, but putting spare ingredients e.g. half an onion, half a lemon, etc. in a glass jar is the best way to ensure you don't forget to use them up. You will see them as soon as you open the fridge and they look nice too!
10. Smorgasboard lunches
Adopt this Swedish approach to clear out your fridge. I'll often do a weekend lunch using whatever is left in the fridge - it's now my family's favourite type of lunch. I treat it as a challenge and it's amazing what you can come up with!