One simple trick to reduce your food waste

One simple trick to reduce your food waste

The UK throws away 7.3million tonnes of food per year!

Can you actually believe that?! It's crazy to think how much it costs to buy, the amount of energy and land to produce it, and the strain this waste puts on our waste disposal systems.

There are many reasons why this amount of waste is produced and the majority are due to behaviours which have become part of our daily lives without us realising.

Perhaps some of these sound familiar?

  • Not knowing what food you already have - Many of us run on autopilot, buying the same food every week in the 'big shop'. Doing this can lead to items being pushed to the back of the fridge/freezer/cupboard meaning they won't be eaten before their used by date.

  • Not making meal plans or shopping lists - Can lead to items not being eaten as they are bought with specific purpose

  • Having a spur of the moment takeaway - We all do it, you've had a busy day at work, the kids are being extra tiring and the last thing you want to do is cook...a few clicks on an app and delicious food is delivered with no hassle. Not only does this mean your other food may go to waste, but many of us will also throw away some of the takeaway if our eyes have been bigger than our stomachs (guilty as charged!).

  • Buying in bulk to save money or offers - Supermarkets will always try and entice us with offers and discounts to buy more or try new products. These can lead us to buy more than we need and things we may not want.

  • Following food trends - This is a huge contributor, i can honestly say i haven't made a successful meal with an avocado but i continued to buy them for weeks before i admitted it just wasn't for me. As creatures of habit, anything new is unlikely to stick...unless it requires very little effort, such as a new chocolate bar that i can stick with!

Now i don't mean to sound like a complete grump, i am definitely guilty of all of these things. However, despite these ingrained behaviours i have still been able to reduce our household food waste with a very simple trick.

Monitor your food to reduce waste

Banish the waste invisibility cloak of your bin

That sounds a bit strange doesn't it, but bear with me. The phrase out of sight, out of mind resonates here. You can easily forget what you've thrown away when it is hidden in your bin.
One simple trick is to have a little note pad next to your bin and every time you throw away food make a note of it. By writing down what you have thrown away and how much makes it visible without being gross!
I did this for two weeks and was very surprised with how big the list was. Meat and veg which had gone off, half packs of food which had been started and never finished, stale bread and leftovers from overcooking.
By doing this simple thing it helped me to;
  • Cut down my portion sizes - i was clearly cooking for 10 people not 2!

  • Stop buying items we didn't eat - those things which i fancy occasionally i now buy individually or in a small pack

  • Buy less food every big shop - those deals aren't good value if you don't eat it

  • Store my food better, freezing bread and portions of meat, defrosting as needed so they don't go off

  • Plan takeaway nights - in our home it's inevitable, we are busy and love a treat so we plan for one night every two weeks for a takeaway. We also ask our Chinese not to include the free prawn crackers as we never eat them!

I hope this simple thing works for you, helping to not only reduce your food waste but also save money. Let me know how you get on!

Happy saving!

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