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Which tip would you pass on to your children to minimise food wastage? Tell Love Food Hate Waste for a chance to win £225 voucher! NOW CLOSED

(412 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 01-Dec-14 13:17:50

WRAP and its Love Food Hate Waste campaign, have asked us to find out what tips Mumsnetters have received and what tips Mumsnetters would pass on to help minimise food waste.

Here’s what WRAP say, “Love Food Hate Waste has carried out new research confirming that confidence and skills in the kitchen help everyone waste less food – in fact the average family can save £700 a year in the UK not buying and then throwing away good food and drink. We want to know what one thing you were passed on by your family which has helped you to make the most of your food and what’s the one thing you’d like to pass on to others or to your children for the future?”

So, what’s the best tip you’ve ever received? And likewise, what would you pass on to your children to help them minimise food and drink waste in the future? Perhaps you make meal plans at the start of the week so that you don’t buy any unnecessary food? Maybe you designate one meal each week to use up all the scraps in your fridge? Or maybe you’ve been taught how to save that burnt sauce or have a great way to get the family involved so that no food goes to waste? Whatever it is, we’d love to hear it!

Mumsnetters also got involved in a survey for WRAP, you can view the results here.

Everyone who leaves their comment on this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £225 voucher to a supermarket of your choice.

Thanks and good luck,


JuniperTisane Mon 01-Dec-14 13:32:05

Best tip I have from growing up: freeze all the unused mash, veg etc from the pans and reuse in other dishes when there's enough.

One to pass on to my children: Eat your crusts.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 01-Dec-14 13:33:54

Never go shopping when you're hungry. You'll buy loads of stuff you don't need.

justmuddlingalong Mon 01-Dec-14 13:44:40

Meal plan whenever possible. Use the freezer and defrost food as and when necessary. If you'll be out and about, use a slowcooker so that dinner's ready. Ordering takeaways means there's more chance fresh food will spoil before it's eaten.

snafflesmummy1 Mon 01-Dec-14 13:58:56

To use your freezer. Freeze leftover portions of meals, meat veg fruit and use them to make smoothies, sauce bases, soups and stews.
I would teach them how to make a basic soup so that they could always use up leftovers into a healthy hearty soup. I would also teach them how to make bread.

Dolallytats Mon 01-Dec-14 14:06:24

I shop on-line. This means that, even when I add loads of things I on't need to the basket, I then take half of it back out when I put my 'sensible' head back on.

Dollyemi Mon 01-Dec-14 14:23:01

Use a small plate! This should help with portion control and reduce waste.

GoogleyEyes Mon 01-Dec-14 14:32:08

Plan your meals, then internet shop just for those ingredients (plus anything you've run out of. That way, you buy what you need and you have to eat it as there isn't anything more tempting available.

LauraStevens Mon 01-Dec-14 14:33:32

To learn how to cook - not necessarily gourmet food - but so that you have confidence to create meals without a recipe book. That way you can throw those odd bits and bobs you find in the back of the fridge together and create something yummy.

helcrai Mon 01-Dec-14 14:46:53

My mum's tip was always plan ahead and make a list before you go shopping. That said, I always buy extra things that are reduced while I'm there, but only if I know I can freeze them, prolonging their useful life and saving money on the next meal. (NOT leaving them to languish in the fridge!)
My own tips, which I am teaching my daughters, are to try and buy ingredients that you know can be used in a number of recipes eg. Lentils for soups but also thickening casseroles, they also keep for longer without going off. My main one though is that every time you waste food by throwing something out of the fridge that should have been used, write down the cost of the wasted food on a piece of paper and stick it on the fridge. At the end of the month add it all up & the shock of how much has been lost usually focuses everyone's minds not to waste in future! We're having a contest at the moment to try & get it to zero by the end of the year.

AdventCaroline Mon 01-Dec-14 15:16:46

Don't just put leftovers in the fridge and forget about them - check the fridge often, and use things before they go off. I am guilty of this - I use half a tin of beans or chickpeas or something and put the rest in the fridge...and then 2 weeks later end up throwing them away.
I do try and plan meals around using up all the ingredients I buy - ie half the pack of mushrooms in a risotto one day, the rest in a pasta sauce the next day, but sometimes I don't manage it, and I always feel bad.

Make sure you have a plan of what you are going to cook before you go shopping.

Traceyedd Mon 01-Dec-14 15:23:04

Best tip received would be not to shop with children! They sneak things in or you buy things to keep them happy/quiet.
Best tip to pass on would be portion control! No waste if you only cook what you need, not extra.

BornToFolk Mon 01-Dec-14 15:52:03

Understand the difference between "use by" and "best before" dates and use your senses to work out if food is safe to eat. I can't believe how many people throw away perfectly good food just because it's a day past it's best before date!

Also, make full use of your freezer. Firstly for freezing leftovers (like your chickpeas/beans, AdventCaroline - those can be put in a freezer bag and frozen) and secondly for stocking up with things like bread and milk to avoid the mid-week supermarket trip for a pint of milk where you end up buying lots of extras.

ceridwyn Mon 01-Dec-14 16:41:32

The Slow cooker is brilliant for families where clubs/sporting activities/busy social lives mean that not everyone eats at the same time. I have a perpetual stew on the go so that anyone who is out at dinnertime has something hot and nutritious waiting when they get in. In addition, left overs inevitably get chucked into the stew pot.

marymanc Mon 01-Dec-14 16:57:20

My suggestions are to plan the meals in advance, I usually have a 2 weeks' meal planner, and weigh food like pasta and rice to make sure not to cook too much of it.

rachaelsit Mon 01-Dec-14 17:35:17

Learn about portion sizes and don't cook too much, things like pasta can be eaten the next day but they don't keep beyond that. In addition to this make big batches of food, freeze and take out as needed!

starlight36 Mon 01-Dec-14 17:39:17

Use Greengrocers to buy fruit and vegetables unwrapped so you are able to buy the quantity you require rather than being forced to buy the portions pre-wrapped in supermarkets.

sanfairyanne Mon 01-Dec-14 17:55:38

look at food to see if it has gone off, rather than obsess about best before dates - tip from my dad and i would pass it on

ButterflyOfFreedom Mon 01-Dec-14 18:07:02

Meal plan
Take a shopping list to the supermarket & only buy what's on it - never shop on an empty stomach!
Don't buy more than is necessary
Batch cook & freeze
Be creative with leftovers!

OwlCapone Mon 01-Dec-14 18:10:48

Utilise your freezer. There is often enough of some meals to freeze it for when you have to feed just one person. eg there is always a portion of spaghetti bolognese left so I freeze it for a day I need to get DD out to Brownies before her brothers are home from school.

Have pairs of meals for utilising scraps - eg we have roast chicken and chicken pot pie on the same meal rota.

Above all, think about what you are eating and when.

monkeyplastic Mon 01-Dec-14 18:19:19

We have left over Saturday's to use up any leftovers and make soup out of any unused or out of date veg

bluebump Mon 01-Dec-14 18:21:43

I write a list before I go to the supermarket having had a look in the fridge/freezer/cupboards to try and see what I actually need. For ages I was being swayed by cheap offers on fruit and veg but it was going to waste so now I try and resist these and buy what I know will get eaten. I can always go back for more.

I also agree with freezing food, all those extra portions that I used to ignore in the fridge now come in handy having been frozen.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 01-Dec-14 18:38:56

tips: check the vegetable drawer regularly.

make a list and never shop hungry.

freeze leftovers

have flexible recipes so that anything available can go in.

best before on veggies and fruit is not critical. try to use before but use your eyes and see whther it si still ok afterwards.

FeelingIrie Mon 01-Dec-14 18:43:45

I meal plan, make random soups, have a well stocked larder with pulses, grains etc so I have food to 'go' with food that needs eating up, I don't mind eating weird combinations and I done mind eating the same thing for a few days on the trot! I hate wasting food and avoid at all costs; I shall be encouraging my children to have the same attitude.

Redtartanshoes Mon 01-Dec-14 18:50:47

Live on chips bread cheese and chocolate. There will never be any waste grin

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