5 ways you can reduce food waste and put more money in your pocket
It’s not news to anybody that food has risen in price in recent times, with many staples such meat, dairy and fruit and vegetables shooting up in price by record amounts.
Cheap food might well be a thing of the past, but as the saying goes ‘Never waste a good crisis!’ Paying more for our food presents an opportunity for us all to reassess our relationship with food and particularly to reduce food waste, which is an economic and environmental problem. 30% of food produced globally is wasted and if food waste were a country in its own right it would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases! Households are responsible for 70% of the food wasted in the UK with the average UK household wasting over £700 a year of food.
With this in mind, we thought we’d offer some ideas to help you reduce your food waste and prevent more of your hard-earned cash from going into the bin! Every ounce of food you save from being wasted is also reducing your environmental footprint, which is certainly no bad thing.
- Meal Planning. Failing to plan is planning to fail! There really is nothing better you can do to manage your household food budget and reduce waste than planning your meals. A good meal planning session each week shouldn’t take long and can go a long way to organising your shopping list so that you buy what you are definitely going to end up eating. Seeing in advance what you are going to prepare and eat is the best way to shop sensibly and not overorder food that might not get eaten. For an easy meal planning template, check out this link. It’s easy to use and can be done each week. https://templates.office.com/en-gb/weekly-meal-planner-tm16400197
If you are a tech lover, then there are some great meal planning apps that can help you plan and organise your grocery lists as well as storing your favourite recipes to make planning that bit easier. We checked out a few apps and found one called Paprika which was easy to use and has some great functions which are all designed to organise your meal planning and reduce waste. https://www.paprikaapp.com/
- Use EVERYTHING you buy. And we mean everything. Fruit in the fruit bowl past its best? Combined with some yoghurt and honey that’s a smoothie waiting to be made! Even if those vegetables you’ve forgotten about in the fridge look a little shrivelled, they can still be turned into a delicious tasting soup. Soft tomatoes? Roast them in the oven with some garlic and onion before blending for a pasta sauce. Throwing away carrot or potato peelings? Stop! They can either be made into a vegetable stock by simmering with some herbs and water, or even better they can be baked on a low heat with some salt and pepper to make a snack that’ll last for a week. Even avocado stones can be baked and grated onto salads. Banana peels are not only edible but are rich in some key nutrients. For more inspiration on squeezing every bit of value from your food, check out the fabulous book ‘Cooking with scraps’ by Lindsay-Jean Hard. It has some amazing ideas that will inspire you never to throw anything away and help you get more from the food you buy.
- Store your vegetables correctly. Many vegetables don’t need to be refrigerated and will last longer kept at room temperature, for example carrots, potatoes and most root vegetables. If they’re in a plastic wrapper or bag, remove them from the packaging as the extra moisture that gets released within the packaging will reduce their life. A good looking vegetable rack can be a good investment and help better store vegetables that prefer to be out of fridge. The best way to get the most from your lettuce is to wash it before drying it and storing in some kind of perforated container such as a colander. You will notice your greens keep much longer and taste much fresher by storing them this way. Asparagus will last up to 3 times longer by storing it upright in a glass jar half filled with water. There are many storing techniques such as these that will help you not only get more from your vegetables but also keep them tastier and fresher for when you come to use them.
- Get smart with portion control. We often prepare food when we are feeling hungry and tempted to cook more than we actually need, particularly staples such as pasta or rice. As a general guide, between 50g and 75g is a good portion of rice or pasta for one person. Tipping it into the pan straight from the packet is an all-too-common habit which can lead to wastage. Learn what portions of different foods suit you and write it down on a list which you can keep on the fridge. You’ll then be more likely to weigh out the correct portion size and make your food go further. Another great technique is to prepare some foods in bulk before weighing them out into portions and freezing. Pasta sauces, soups, Bolognese sauce and stews are all things that can be made in larger batches and frozen in portions.
- Make full use of your freezer and buy frozen where you can. Frozen food lasts for months and gone are the days where frozen food was perceived as lower quality. The truth is that frozen food often retains more flavour and nutrition than chilled food, which has often been sitting on shelves for days or even weeks, all the time losing freshness and nutrition. Our delicious pies are a great pre-portioned frozen food option for you to give yourself a super convenient mouth-watering treat without any wastage worries. And when it comes to food waste, we’re certainly doing our bit. We produce all our pies in bulk before blast freezing to lock in freshness and flavour, a process that produces barely any food waste. And even more conveniently, we offer a monthly subscription service so you can plan them into your meal planner and know your favourite pies will always be available to you when needed.
Order yours here at www.yorkshirehandmadepies.co.uk