Did you know that in East Sussex, food makes up more than a third of the waste in our bins? And that on average we waste £70 worth of food a month? With the Christmas season fast approaching, we’ve pulled together some tips for reducing food waste and saving money.
Christmas is a time when many of us over indulge and in an attempt to spoil our family and friends we end up wasting more food than at any other time of the year. For instance, did you know that at Christmas 74 million mince pies are thrown away?
Here are some handy tips for reducing food waste this Christmas:
Buy what you need
- Plan ahead. Don’t buy food for five days when you know you’re likely to eat out with friends or family one evening, or you may be tempted by a takeaway on New Year’s Eve.
- Take a picture of your fridge before you go shopping so you don’t accidentally double up on what you already have.
- Do you tend to make enough Christmas dinner to feed a whole other family? The key is to not be tempted to cook extra. Be confident that what you’re cooking is enough by using the BBC Good Food’s Christmas portion planner.
- Avoid deals. Remember, if you won’t eat it all in time, it’s not a deal – only waste.
- Only one or two of you this year? It can seem more expensive but by buying veg like potatoes individually you can avoid wasting the rest of the pack.
Store food properly
Did you know that at Christmas time, we throw away two million turkeys? While this can be down to lack of confidence in cooking skills or buying a bigger bird than needed, it is also due to the food spoiling quickly. Make your food last for longer by storing it correctly.
- After Christmas dinner, freeze left over foods that you know you won’t eat in the next couple of days. They don’t have to make meals by themselves but could provide ingredients for meals in the first weeks of 2020.
- Use air tight containers when storing your leftover dinner in the fridge or freezer – it will help it last longer.
- Cooked turkey will last three to four days in the refrigerator, but freezing cooked turkey is always a great option if you’ve loads of leftovers.
- Make sure your fridge is set to the right temperature. It should be between 0- 5 c. Use Love Food Hate Waste’s useful tool for checking your fridge temperature.
- Find out how to store food correctly and what you can freeze using Love Food Hate Waste’s A-Z of food storage.
Eat it all
The average family household wastes around £70 of food per month and this only increases over Christmas as we buy more. Luckily there are loads of helpful resources and ideas out there to help prevent this.
- Good to Know has some great ideas for how to ensure the most wasted foods over Christmas never end up in the bin again. This list includes pigs in blankets, parsnips, Christmas pudding and gravy! For example, you can make mince pie ice cream using that pack of pies you know you’re not going to get round to eating. Heaven!
- Check out this left over food recipe tool to ensure you never throw out those scraps again.
- Only got the odd sad-looking carrot left? Love Food Hate Waste has ideas for using odd bits of old fruit and veg up.
Adding vegetable peelings to your compost heap is a great way to put waste to good use (and keep it out of your kitchen bin). Some torn up cardboard packaging is great for your composting ‘mix’ too!
If you live in an area covered by Lewes District Council there is currently a kerbside scheme that collects food waste. We also provide great value garden compost bins.
Live in a flat or don’t have time to garden? Learn how to compost without a garden.
For more tips and information please check out the Love Food Hate Waste website.
*The statistic of food makes up more than a third of the waste in our bins, is provided by East Sussex County Council’s Waste Team and is the latest figure available from 2017.
Updated November 2020.