Did you know that the average UK household spends £500 a year on food they don’t eat? That increases to £730 in households with children. If you want to help your pocket (and the planet), here’s a few tips to help you cut back on how much food goes into your bin:
- Don’t peel your fruit and veggies. The peels and skin of most fruits and vegetables are fine to eat and can really add to the flavour. Eating these can help save you time and money and provide you with more of the important vitamins and minerals that you need.
- If you don’t like eating the peel of fruits and vegetables, there are plenty of other uses for them. An easy way to use up vegetable peelings is to boil them up into a stock, which is great for making soups, stews, and many other recipes. You can even save your peelings up by popping them in a pot or bag in the freezer until you have more of them. You can find some other, whackier, uses for them here.
- Got vegetables that look a little past their best? They’re still good to eat. Here’s some ideas to use up those limp looking veggies!
- Made too much food? No worries. You can always pop spare portions of food in the fridge or freezer for another day. Leftovers usually last a week in the fridge if stored correctly, preferably in an airtight container.
- Keep your fridge at the right temperature. Household fridges should be set between 0-8°C but preferably below 5°C. Keeping your food cool will help ensure it stays fresher for longer, giving you more time to use it all up.
- Keep an eye on the ‘use by’ dates on your food. These are used by manufacturers to indicate when a food is no longer safe to eat. These ‘use by’ foods that are at high risk of being spoilt by bad bacteria, so it is good to keep an eye on what you have in your fridge and make sure you use the oldest foods first to make sure they don’t go past their date.
- However – don’t throw out foods past their ‘best before’ date. Unlike ‘use by’ dates, foods past their ‘best before’ date are still safe to eat. This date is used to indicate when a food is at its best quality. If these are stored properly (and are still sealed), there’s no harm in eating them past this date.
Write a shopping list. Writing a list and planning your meals in advance is a good way to ensure you only buy what you need, helping to reduce the risk of having extra food going off at the back of the fridge.
CHRISTCHURCH FOOD FESTIVAL EDUCATION TRUST: CHARITY NUMBER 1127292
BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY: MSC NUTRITION AND BEHAVIOUR STUDENT: KATE