UK households waste 4.5m tonnes of food each year that could have been eaten. This food has a value of £14 billion, equivalent to £700 a year for an average family with children, according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
To make sure your food goes as far as it possibly can, write a meal plan each week and make use of everything you’ve got in the cupboard. You can download and print off a free planner here.
If you’re looking for ideas, Cookingonabootstrap.com has lots of great recipes and tips on reducing food waste. Never overlook the magic of leftovers as they’ll save you both time and money. Always put leftover food into a tupperware container and save it for lunch or dinner the next day. You’ll appreciate it when you don’t have to spend your lunchtime or evening cooking an entirely new dish.
Don’t condemn overripe fruit or veg to the food waste bin either. For example, overripe bananas provide a stronger and sweeter banana flavour when used in a banana bread recipe, and soft avocados can be mashed easily and combined with a few simple ingredients such as red onion, garlic and a hint of lemon or lime juice to make a delicious guacamole. You can also blend overripe fruit into tasty, healthy smoothies.
It’s also worth signing up for Olio, a food-sharing app that connects you to your local community with the aim of reducing waste, and saving money. You can list anything on the app that you won’t be eating in your household but hasn’t yet gone off. Alternatively, you can search for food or other items that are being offered within your local area for example, a nearby neighbour might be offering loaves of bread,or bags of spaghetti – but you may also find other items such as toiletries and books listed. You can download Olio free of charge for iOS here and Android here.
If you’re struggling to afford food, or you’d like to make a food donation, contact your local food bank via the Trussell Trust website.