How to reduce your food waste

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I had so many views on my post about what happens to your food waste, I thought it would be a good idea to look at ways of reducing your food waste, before it even gets to the recycling caddy. Here are my 5 top tips! 

Know how to keep your food fresher for longer 

Did you know that the way we store our food can make a big difference to how long it stays fresh? My first top tip is to keep your fruit and vegetables in the fridge, they really will last longer! However, bread will go hard in the fridge, so best to keep that in a bread bin. 

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Know the difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’

The dates on packaging can get confusing, so I hope these explanations help the next time you look at something and think about throwing it into your caddy 

  • A ‘use by’ date is found on perishable foods that could make us ill if we eat them after this date.  
  • A ‘best before’ date refers to the quality, rather than food safety. Eating food after this date is unlikely to be harmful. Eggs are the only exception, which should be consumed before their ‘best before’ date. 

Only cook what you need 

How often do you find you’ve cooked way too much pasta? I know it used to happen to me all the time! But it’s easier than you think to get it right. These are the guides that I found helped:  

  • A mug of rice will feed three people, watch this great 30-second video 
  • A portion of uncooked pasta should be the size of your clenched fist, this may look small but it doubles in weight when cooked 
  • A serving of meat should be the size of the palm of your hand (but not including your fingers) 
  • A serving of fish, such as haddock or Pollock, is the size of your hand, including your fingers 

Lovely leftovers 

It’s amazing how many meals you can make from one chicken. My favourites are curry, fajitas and risotto – be inspired by these recipes.  If you have cooked too much for your dinner, put some in a tub or bag and pop it in the freezer. Then if you’re going to be home late one night it’s a great ‘ready meal’ for one! 

Planning your meals

As I mentioned in my post last week, this is my best top tip for saving money on your food bills and wasting less. Before you go shopping, check your fridge, freezer and cupboard and think about what you need for the week and write a list. That way you won’t shop for things you already have. 

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But don’t forget to use your food waste caddy for all those little bits that can’t be re-used like tea bags, egg shells, banana skins and more! All our household food waste is collected weekly. If you don’t have a food caddy, pick a free one up from your local pick up point (sorry this is not available in flats at the moment unless directed by your landlord). 

So get ready, steady, cook!  

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