Published On: 1 September 2020Categories: Stories

A few simple changes to how we buy, store and dispose of food can save money and the environment.

1. Use a shopping list

Planning meals in advance is the easiest way to avoid buying items you don’t need and won’t use.

2. Buy less groceries more frequently.

If you can, try to replenish fresh produce and other perishables every few days rather than buying a week’s worth in the hope that you’ll use everything. The produce will be fresher and you won’t be tempted to make portions that will be binned later.

3. Cook only what you need

An effective way to reduce food waste (and the waistline) is to reduce portion sizes, so cook only what is required rather than pouring enough pasta to feed an army. Wait 15 minutes to see if you are still hungry before heading back to the kitchen.

4. Store food better

Correct storage can add days, weeks and even months to your food. Make sure dry goods are stored in air-tight containers to avoid moisture and weevils, freeze leftovers and remember that not all fruit and veg should be stored in the fridge – sometimes it will make them go off quicker. Herbs will last for weeks if you get some damp paper towelling and wrap them up before storing in a sealed container.

5. Understand expiration dates

Knowing what is meant by ‘best-before’ and ‘use-by’ could mean the difference between emptying the contents of your fridge to make a delicious dinner and throwing away a fridge full of perfectly edible food. Check whether food looks, smells and tastes ok – if it does then it’s usually fine to eat – and rotate older ingredients to the front so that it’s not forgotten.

6. Grow your own

Growing your own food is a simple, satisfying and economical way of saving money and reducing food waste.

7. Compost

Start a compost bin to reduce waste and nourish the soil.

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