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Reducing food waste - what are your tips?

9 replies

AnaViaSalamanca · 19/11/2021 15:32

I am not bad at this, but only manage it by doing too many supermarket trips and buying bit by bit, which is a big PITA.

What do you do to minimize food waste?

OP posts:

Anothermuddywalk · 19/11/2021 16:00

Food plan - sit down each week and write down each meal we'll have and then add the ingredients we'll need to the shopping list.

Shopping list - check what we have in the cupboards etc already so only buy things we need each week - try only going once, and keep top up shops to a minimum. And try not to buy anything not on the list (I find doing my shopping online helps with this - less temptation!)

Keep a list of what's in the freezer - a magnetic white board is great for this, so you can easily wipe off things as you take them out.

Freeze leftovers (or plan for them in your meal plan to be used as lunches or a second night's meal)

Throw veggies towards the end of their life into soups, stews, pasta sauce etc


LucentBlade · 19/11/2021 16:06

Be prepared to eat stuff that may not match up especially well.

Make a soup to use up bits. I often make Sunday soup, a stock cube with all the bits of veg that need eating up, maybe some lentils added.


Happierwithouthim · 19/11/2021 16:08

Keep an eye on what you're throwing out & reduce what you buy of those items.

Freeze half the loaf when you get it if the breads always going off

Freeze milk to reduce trips to shops

Leftovers form basis of other meals

Google recipes which use the ingredients you have instead of buying extra ingredients for a recipe


CiaoForDiNiaoSaur · 19/11/2021 16:10

Have teenagers Grin


TeacupDrama · 19/11/2021 16:12

meal planning, account for lunches and breakfasts not just dinner
before going shopping is there anything that needs to be used up, make sure stuff that is near use by date is at front of fridge
freeze extra portions or have for lunch the next day
be a bit flexible for example if you had meal planned lasagne and put mince in trolley but then find pork chops reduced go and put mince back and lasagne sheets and buy to go with chops instead
work out how much milk bread you use per week
if there is a meal that always has leftovers make less next time
don't buy BOGOF's unless you will actually use the second


AtleastitsnotMonday · 19/11/2021 21:44

People always say meal plan and I agree but I only ever meal plan 6 nights out of 7. The reason being, we are a busy family, there is often one night a week when plans change, eat out, get invited to friends, can’t be bothered to cook and want something on toast, or have unexpected leftovers from another night. If we do then need the 7th meal we have well stocked cupboards and freezer so can always whip up something.
The other thing I try to do is to plan a menu that uses all of ingredients. For example if a recipe call for half a tin of kidney beans, I’d make sure I had a plan for the other half.
I also utilise half used ingredients a lot at lunchtime. Half a bag of spinach will be used for a salad, a couple of rashers of bacon will be grilled with some tomatoes, a load of slightly bendy carrots will become a soup.


Wildernesstips · 21/11/2021 18:14

I agree with the pps above about meal planning. My meal planning always starts with what needs to be used. So this week I had:

Brie - going to make leek & Brie parcels
Parsnips - will add to Irish beef stew
Cream cheese - added smoked salmon to shopping list

I like the challenge of using everything up, although it is so much easier now I am mainly WFH as leftovers can be easily used up in lunches too.

Are you struggling with particular food items or just generally with food waste?


Shmithecat2 · 21/11/2021 18:17

Meal plan, batch cook and freeze, or if budget allows, use Gousto/Hello Fresh for 3 or 4 meals a week. Absolutely zero waste, and planning done for you.


TrudyRuby · 21/11/2021 18:19

Definitely meal planning. Plan for one less meal too, there is always something leftover or something you can rustle up easily.

The freezer is your friend. Blitz up leftover bread for breadcrumbs and freeze, par boil veg and freeze.

If you do your weekly shop on a Friday, for example, you should still be eating fresh food on Thursday if you've stored it to last. Cream has a two week shelf life. That's why I've never understood the mad dash for the Christmas food shop/queuing online for delivery slots two days before Christmas Day.

The cauliflower I bought 6 days ago is on my dinner plate tonight.

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