Food waste is a major contributor to landfill. The average UK household throws away 22% of their weekly food shop which adds up to £700 per year. Being less wasteful is an obvious way to save money, while also reducing the strain on the planet.
Bananas, bread and potatoes are three of the items most commonly wasted. Storing food properly can make a huge difference. If you have freezer space, keep sliced bread in the freezer to avoid throwing away mouldy loaves. If not, and you often find yourself throwing bread away, buy less! A larger loaf is false economy if you end up throwing half of it away.
If your loaf has gone stale rather than mouldy, don’t bin it. Chop it into squares and sprinkle with garlic salt then bake to make a tasty alternative to crisps.
Alternatively, make an autumn pudding by lining a dish with bread then filling with stewed blackberry and apple mix and topping with more bread. Weight it down on top, to allow the juices to soak through the bread overnight, and serve with cream or ice cream.
Eggy bread is another way to bring stale bread back to life, or turn it into breadcrumbs to make stuffing, or a topping for a gratinated dish.
Bananas can be used in cakes and pancakes even if they’ve gone soft. Blitzing bananas with cocoa and almond milk, then freezing, can turn a mushy banana into a tasty vegan ice cream.
Potatoes can be turned into rosti or mash, and frozen. There are also food share groups such as Olio, that help you share your unwanted food with other people.
Most of all, only buy the food you need. Making a ‘reverse shopping list’ of food that ends up in the bin week after week can help you spot your waste patterns. Do an audit of what you already have before making a shopping list too. You can save a fortune by making sure you use all your leftovers.
While it’s important to eat enough fruit and veg, consider whether it all needs to be fresh. Frozen and tinned produce can be just as healthy and is less likely to end up in the bin. Growing your own fruit and veg can also help cut food waste, even if it’s just a few pots of herbs or salad on your windowsill.
With a little thought, you can cut down in a lot of waste. Better yet, you can save money too.