It’s so easy to reduce your household food waste when you know how – just follow our 10 tips.
We’re all becoming so much more aware of our food waste – not only to help reduce our impact on the planet, but because it’s basically throwing money away. And who can afford that?
Statistics suggest the average family in the UK throws away £700 worth of food a year, which is £12 billion nationwide. Not only is this a waste of good food, it’s also a waste of the resources that were used to produce it – from the water, heat and fertilisers used in the growing process to the energy consumed during its transportation.
It’s so important that we minimise food waste, not just to help maintain a responsible and sustainable food system but because individually we’ll feel the benefit, too. By taking simple steps to ensure we use up everything we buy, we’ll be on our way to eating better, reducing our carbon footprint and saving cash with every meal we cook.
Here are some quick tips and tricks to get started with reducing food waste that will also help save you money in the kitchen.
1. Plan your week’s meals
Sticking to a meal plan is such an easy way to reduce food waste. You only buy what you need for the week ahead, meaning you’re less likely to over-shop and unnecessarily throw away uneaten food, meaning it’s kinder on your bank balance, too. Why not try our 10 Ingredients, 3 Meals plan?
2. Write a shopping list
Check your fridge, freezer and cupboards before you go shopping so you know exactly what you have, and therefore you’ll only buy what you need. Writing down a list also helps you to stick to it so you’re less likely to be tempted.
3. Best-before & use-by dates
Understand the difference between best-before dates and use-by dates so you’re not throwing away edible food. Click here for more info.
4. Embrace wonky fruit & veg
They still have just as many nutrients and are just as tasty as perfectly shaped produce, even if they are a bit ugly. Your meals will only taste better knowing you’re doing your bit to reduce food waste!
5. Open your mind
Be more open-minded about how you buy and eat food – try more unusual cuts of meat or buy sustainable whole fish and use the leftover bones and head to make a delicious stock.
6. Look out for pullet eggs
These small eggs from young hens are not large enough to meet many supermarkets’ criteria, so they’re often wasted. But they’re just as good as any other egg, and while uncommon, keep an eye out for them in your local farm shops and pick them up where you can!
7. Check your fridge & freezer
Make sure your fridge and freezer are set to the right temperature – this will help food keep for longer. Our batch-cook, freezer-friendly recipes are brilliant for using up leftover veg, saving money and taking the stress out of cooking. And don’t forget to have days in the week where you eat your fridge and freezer, so you use up what’s in there.
8. Portion out food
Weigh out foods such as rice, pasta and vegetables so you don’t end up cooking too much and throwing it away. Learn more about portion sizes and how they vary according to the food you’re eating, here.
9. Embrace your leftovers
Portion out leftovers into freezer bags, label and date them, then freeze ready for a quick weekday supper. Check out our collection of lovely leftover recipes for inspiration on how you can make more of your meals go further.
10. Save with Jamie
Check out Jamie’s book Save With Jamie for plenty more ideas on how to cook delicious, nutritious meals and make your ingredients go further. Click here to view some of the recipes.
In our restaurant kitchens around the world, we’re really mindful of food waste and employ a number of systems and processes to ensure that any waste is kept to an absolute minimum. We adopt strict controls around stock management and food production. As well as developing our menus and specials carefully to minimise waste. The reduction of food waste is a journey us and our franchise partners are on ourselves and like most things in life, we believe prevention is better than cure.
*Stats provided by WRAP, correct at time of publication
Hungry for more? Head to our budget-friendly recipe hub for more inspiration to shop smart, cook clever and waste less.