Ahh! Food Waste: Top 10 Tips to Save on Bin Bags (and the Planet)
#IsItJustMeOr...Just yesterday, I threw away 3 eggs, 2 loaves of bread and a tub of mouldy Greek yoghurt ... turning 50 shades of blue.
It got me thinking. How on EARTH can I be binning this much? I only went shopping a few days ago. What’s going on with my food waste?!
Every day we throw away enough food waste to feed over 1 billion hungry people, let alone £60 worth of perfectly useable food in our family home. That’s a staggering 112kg for each of us every single year in the UK.
So, we came up some simple solutions to help break even the most wasteful of habits.
With only a few small changes, we can make one HUGE difference to the amount of food we
chuck each year.
We’re looking at you, Grandpa Steve...
1. Revise your Shopping list
Start shopping smart. Get into a regular habit of checking your cupboards before you hit the food aisles. Ask yourself what you really need, and what can you already make from what you have in the kitchen? Write a list, (and stick to it!) For me, it’s always a big ‘no no’ to shop on an empty stomach. Be sensible, and give your food shop a second thought.
2. Leftovers...What, leftovers?
Use them up. Store them. Save them for another day. After all, isn’t that what freezers are for?
3. Plan, plan, plan!
Write down your meals for a week. Make a weekly noticeboard for your kitchen. Check to see what you have in the house, and then make a shopping list for any extras you might need. You can save food, and have some pennies left over for the holiday pot, too!
4. Look after your fridge
Check the temperature of your fridge is looking its best. Perishable food should be stored at 37°C for maximum freshness and longevity. Keep your freezer at 0°C, or just a little lower, for the crème de le crème of food storage.
5. Serve your portions smaller
There’s no need to be stingy. But this is particularly useful to bear in mind when serving the younger members of the dinner table – often with eyes bigger than their tummies. After mealtime, if anyone’s hungry for more, they can go back for seconds. Then you can cool and store leftovers for another day. Save food, and on money.
6. Donate to the hungry
Got an extra can of beans floating around in the cupboard? There are SO many food banks, charities and church schemes that welcome donations with open arms. Some big supermarkets are now even taking in kitchen goodies for community food shares. Give it a gander, and you’ll be amazed.
7. Get clued up on expiration dates
Did you know expiration dates aren’t ALWAYS to do with food safety laws? Usually, they are just manufacturers’ suggestions of peak quality. So, store your food correctly, and most foods can stay fresh several days following the ‘useby’ date. If it looks, smells, and tastes ok, all should be fine. But remember to check all these elements are OK before serving up.
8. Start feeling sorry for ugly fruit
Not every potato is blessed with good looks. Every year, tonnes of fruit and veg are being tossed aside because of their shape, size and slightly peaky colour. And it’s all because they don’t quite live up to our beauty expectations. But for the majority of the time, they are perfectly fine to eat. So, the next time you hit the fruit market of superstore, choose carefully which pear you pick. You could save the life of a lemon.
9. Start your own lowcost living challenge
Ever wondered if you can survive a week on the breadline? Why not save on food waste, money and even your jean size for a week. Followmy £1 a day challengefor some inspiration. It’s going to be entertaining.
Professional scribbler and wearer of scarves, Caitlin is a freelance, comedy blogger and aspiring great lesbian novelist. *So she likes to think.
When Caitlin is not picking her brain for a half-decent poem, or tip-toeing around potentially hazardous social situations, she is ordering raspberry daiquiris and re-watching the L Word. Again. Follow her on Twitter @caitlin_maggs and Instagram Caitlin.M.Maggs. You may be sorry.