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9 foods you will never waste again

Do you always have a few items of food you never quite manage to finish and always end up throwing some away? Mumsnetters share tips on how not to waste the worst culprits.


Crème fraîche

Creme fraiche

  • Mix it with boiled potatoes to make a delicious creamy mash
  • Add to tacos or fajitas
  • Mix crème fraîche with cheese and mustard to make a cheat's cheese sauce for cauliflower or leeks
  • Try chicken or pork in cider with apples and crème fraîche
  • Crème fraîche 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.



Sweetcorn pancake



You could always get frozen sweetcorn instead of tinned. 



Cucumber stir fry


  • "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"


Green pepper

Green pepper feta


  • 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.


Last updated: over 3 years ago