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Five easy ways to reduce food waste at home

Simple steps to maximising your food purchases


Eliminating food waste is a priority for many but it can be difficult to break old habits. So, how do you go about reducing your food waste in five easy steps?

Try to incorporate these tips into your daily cooking life to reduce waste and save money on buying unnecessary food items.

1 Stop shopping hungry

The easiest way to overbuy is shopping on an empty stomach - so just don’t do it. We recommend going to the supermarket with a plan, whether you’re shopping for two days or for the week, and think about what you’re going to be making over the next few days and how you can extend the use of ingredients.

2 Use what you already have

We can all be guilty of having plenty of food in the house yet still buying more to make a particular meal. Why not designate one dinner each where you “shop” in your own cupboards and fridge to rustle something up?

Basics such as canned tomatoes, lentils, onions and garlic can be added to whatever vegetables are in the fridge for a quick and cheap meal.

3 Keep stock of everything

Chefs are big fans of advising people to make stock from both meat and veggie scraps and keep it in the freezer to add flavour to soups and stews.

For a simple stock just throw in leftover scraps of chicken or beef (with no fat) into water, cut up some veg and simmer on low overnight. The liquid you’re left with is your own homemade stock.

4 Feed your garden 

On average over 70% of household waste is landfilled each year. Composting reduces the amount of rubbish you put out for collection and creates a free, nutritious fertiliser that will help make your garden more beautiful.

5 Understand dates 

“Use by” indicates a date by which the food is safe to be eaten, while “best before” means the food’s quality is best prior to that date, but it is still safe for consumption after it. Another date mark that you can find on food packages is the “Sell by” date, which is helpful for stock rotation by manufacturers and retailers.