9 foods you will never waste again

Do you always have a few items of food you never quite manage to finish? Mumsnetters share tips on how to deal with the worst culprits

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Creme fraiche

  • Mix it with boiled potatoes to make a delicious creamy mash
  • Add to tacos or fajitas
  • Mix creme fraiche with cheese and mustard to make a cheat's cheese sauce for cauliflower or leeks
  • Try chicken or pork in cider with apples and creme fraiche
  • Creme fraiche can be stirred into pasta or added to most sauces requiring milk
  • Serve it with hot desserts
  • Serve a dollop with mixed berries and a dusting of sugar
  • Make a creamy sauce and freeze to serve with chicken




  • Make tons of mash and freeze it in portions you can later bung in the microwave
  • Make bubble and squeak patties with leftover potatoes and any green veg like broccoli or cabbage; mix in some cream cheese, or other soft cheese, and then freeze with a layer of greaseproof paper between them so they unstick easily. Take out however many you need at a time. "Try with a poached egg on top - lovely."  



Store potatoes somewhere cool and dark and they keep much longer (same for all root veg) - and take them out of any plastic bags they come in; even if you decide to keep them in the fridge, they will last much longer.

Potatoes that are sprouting can be planted. Make sure they're well-watered and you will always have a supply. 



  • You can freeze hummus!
  • Use hummus in stews, casseroles, curries and soup (especially carrot) as a thickener
  • Make dhal with it
  • Dollop on baked potatoes or hot toast
  • Take it to work with celery and carrot sticks
  • "My solution with hummus is to add flour and shape into veggie burgers. Just shallow fry them. The kids love them."




  • Turn apples into apple sauce
  • Make a crumble
  • Stew or freeze apples and add them to yoghurt for breakfast
  • Bake in the oven with some raisins and sugar for a dessert



  • Freeze and eat them like sweets
  • "Old-ish grapes, berries etc go great in smoothies"



  • Olives can be frozen and bunged, still frozen, into a tomato-based pasta sauce
  • "I buy massive jars from Lidl, drain them then dry them off in a tea towel overnight, then layer them back into the jar with sliced garlic, sliced chillis and a top-up with olive oil mixed with a couple of teaspoons of chipotle paste. Everyone, even folk who hate olives, seem to like these and because they are always covered in oil they don't go off."
  • Put in a frittata with your boiled potatoes
  • Put them in your martini!



Olives in a glass jar last ages.






You could always get frozen sweetcorn instead of tinned. 




  • "Finely dice a third of a cucumber and mix with a tin of tuna, a couple of chopped hard-boiled eggs, a couple of tablespoons of mayo and a couple of teaspoons of curry powder. Nice with salads or in sandwiches."
  • Dice/grate it and add some yoghurt and mint chutney or similar, to make raita
  • Chip and mix with mayo, walnuts and apple in lieu of the celery in a Waldorf salad
  • "Fried cucumber in stir fries is very nice"




  • Use green peppers to make curry - "the sharper flavour works much better in curries than the red or yellow"
  • Put them in chilli con carne or fajitas
  • Try the following side dish: "Cut peppers into half-inch slices, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, cook in a little oil until going brown, chuck on a little feta when it's finished cooking so the feta ges a little oozy."
  • Mix with black bean paste (a jar lasts forever) and beef to make a stir fry
  • Roast them or make veggie kebabs with carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes etc - any other leftovers



Don't refrigerate peppers, tomatoes or aubergines. It kills the natural enzymes that keep them fresh. They will all go mouldy in the fridge, while in a bowl in the kitchen they tend to go wrinkly but still be very useable for quite some time.

"Green peppers used to be a problem in our house. Then we got guinea pigs."

Green peppers are actually just unripe red or yellow peppers, so you can always just put them next to a bunch of bananas and wait until they ripen.

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Last updated: over 2 years ago