I’m going to be completely honest here, tackling food waste is one of our biggest challenges as a family. It’s the one area that we just seem to keep coming back to time and time again. I do get frustrated and overwhelmed by it but I’m determined to keep going and keep trying. I think it’s all of the food packaging that I find the hardest to manage.
What steps can we take?
So with that in mind, I’m sharing the top tips that I have found useful and have learnt from others along the way. I hope that you find some of them helpful:
- write a list before going shopping ~ this can help with managing the food bought.
- check the use by and best before dates when you buy and bring things home.
- put items to the front of the fridge or cupboard which need using first.
- use up what needs using first, even if this isn’t for a meal, simply pop it in the freezer or cook and use for lunch the next day.
- ignore the ‘Buy one get one free’ deals, as they simply encourage us to buy more than we really need or can use.
- shop online if you find shopping in person distracting ~ this can be really helpful when shopping on a budget as you can track how much you’re spending as you add items and take any out that take you over budget (I’ve found this a great way to keep a track of everything I’m buying).
- choose the ‘no bags’ option if shopping online ~ simply unload directly from the delivery tubs into your kitchen.
- shopping in person can mean that you can use your own tubs and and bags ~ especially in supermarkets where loose produce is available or if you’re lucky enough to have a farm shop or loose produce shop near you.
- shopping on an empty stomach can often make us buy more and buy quick and heavily packaged food items, so make sure you eat before you shop!
- use veg scraps or veg that is starting to wilt in soups and sauces, perfect for using up all sorts of odds and ends of veg to make hearty food.
- get some good reusable options for foods like sauces, these can be easily frozen and defrosted on the day you need them.
- if you aren’t able to get loose cereal, then using the bags from the cereal boxes to store perishables in the fridge or freezer is a great reuse for them, they’re quite sturdy bags, so are brilliant for using for all sorts of produce.
- eat leftovers for lunch the next day or freeze and then have a leftovers dinner once a week, you can make it a pick and mix meal if you have a family, makes it fun and you should have something there that everyone will like!
- reusing any packaging or tubs that you can is a great way to minimise your waste.
- get into a good recycling routine by cleaning out bags and tins and pots and then have a place to sort them, you could use the larger boxes to have a place to sort into different categories.
- fruit which is going soft or squidgy can be made into smoothies or compotes, these are great for adding to cereals or rice puddings to make a healthy addition.
- if you can shop loose produce, then having great storage options to refill are a great idea, if it looks good then we’re more likely to want to keep doing it!
- taking lunch out with you rather than buying pre-packaged can be a great way to cut down on single use waste, I often use leftovers from dinner the night before to take to the office with me.
Loose produce bags are a great way to cut down on plastic use
What else can we do?
If you’ve got any top tips for things that help you, get in touch with us and let us know. You can find us on all social medial platforms too.