Looking for ways to make your food go further and to minimise the amount of food you throw away? Then here are some great tips and facts, plus recipes for using leftovers.
Tips on how to make your food go further
- Be storage savvy - Different foods do better in different places, so knowing where to store them is key to keeping them fresh. Check out this food storage A–Z (external link) to help you to figure out where to store your foods, as well as tips on how to use them up. For example, did you know that apples keep fresher for longer in the fridge, but bananas need to stay in the cupboard?
- Chill the fridge out - Did you know that the average UK fridge is set to 7 degrees? This is too high for most foods and will cause them to go ‘off’ much quicker. Dialling it down to 0–5°C has the potential to keep your food fresh for up to three extra days. This fridge thermometer tool (external link) will help you find out how to adjust the temperature
- Get to know your date labels - ‘Best before’ refers to quality. Your food is at its best before this date, but should still be OK to eat after. Use your senses to check. ‘Use by’ is about safety - eating food after this date could give you food poisoning. Remember, you can freeze your food up to and including the use by date, keeping it for another day
- Don’t just eat it, complete it - Try using up every edible bit of your food. Potato skins, bread crusts, and broccoli stems are all delicious and perfectly edible, but they often get wasted because we don’t think to use them up. Try leaving the potato skins on when you make mash, or adding the broccoli stem to your stir fry or stew along with the florets
- Freezer hero - We all know that meat, pizza and ice cream can be frozen, but there may be a few foods that surprise you. Eggs, milk, bread, cheese - in fact, almost anything can be frozen! Pop a label on whatever you freeze to avoid any UFOs (Unidentified Frozen Objects).
Food waste facts
- Households throw away the equivalent of one in every five bags of food shopping - remember to always use compostable liners when putting loose food waste in the bin
- Almost half the milk we buy is thrown away because we do not use it in time
- Potatoes are the most common food we buy too much of. UK households throw away an average of 170 potatoes every year
- Recycling food waste is better for the planet because it is composted or sent for anaerobic digestion - a process that creates energy from the waste.
How to reduce food waste
- Make a shopping list before you visit the supermarket
- Only buy what you know you will eat
- Check the use-by-dates of fresh food when you buy it
- Plan your meals and only prepare what you need
- If there are any leftovers, then save them to create another meal.
Take a look at the table below for a few ideas on how to use up your leftovers and to make the most of your food.
You can also visit the Love Food Hate Waste website (external link) for a huge variety of leftover food recipes to try.
Store cupboard recipes
Be inspired to create tasty meals based on your store cupboard ingredients. Here are just a few recipes to try: