Did you know that the average UK home spends around £700 a year on food that goes in the bin? In total, we’re talking around 4.5 million tons of food (just in the UK) which could have been eaten every year, with potatoes being the single most wasted item. All ending up in the landfill.
So, what can we do? These are some of our top tips for making your food stretch that little bit further:
Plan your meals ahead
Get into the habit of checking what you already have in the fridge and freezer before you go shopping. Look out for foods that are approaching their use-by date and other fresh foods that can go off over time and try to use them up first. This includes:
- fruit and vegetables
- meat and fish
- cheese, milk or other dairy products
Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, grains, bread, unbleached paper napkins, coffee filters, eggshells, meats and newspaper can be composted. If it can be eaten or grown in a field or garden, it can be composted.
Favourite Fermented Foods
Is a fridge full of leftovers? Pickling, drying, canning, fermenting, freezing and curing are all methods you can use to make food last longer. Get creative in the kitchen and perhaps learn how to make some popular fermented foods like:
- Sauerkraut – fermented cabbage made from just two ingredients: cabbage and salt
- Kimchi, a traditional Korean dish that has been a table staple for thousands of years packed full of probiotics and health-boosting vitamins (A, B and C)
- Fermented ginger carrots, perfect in cheese sandwiches, on the side of curry or as an everyday snack.
Love your leftovers
This also means love your freezer, use the weekends to batch-cook and freeze all your leftover food such as vegetables (carrots, broccoli, potatoes and onions). You can also freeze milk and eggs (top tip: beat them first into smaller portions to use later easily).
Store food correctly
Improper storage can lead to your fruit and vegetables going off a lot sooner than you wanted.
Often people are unsure how to store fruits and vegetables correctly, which can lead to premature ripening and, eventually, rotten produce. For instance, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers and onions should never be refrigerated. These items should be kept at room temperature. To keep your fruit from spoiling too quick you ideally shouldn’t keep bananas and pears by apples and potatoes.
You can find more tips and advice like this in our blog on foods that last longer outside of the fridge.