One of the best ways to reduce food waste in households is by proper planning and organisation of your meals and kitchen. The way you shop can make a huge impact on the amount of food waste you are ultimately left with.
Check out these tips on how to shop cost effectively and reduce food waste at the same time.
- Menu planning – if you shop weekly make a list of what meals you will have each night, you can then base your list around what ingredients you require for each meal.
- Write a list – one of the easiest ways to overspend and end up with items you don’t need (not to mention, forgetting things you do need) is by shopping without a list. Before you go to the supermarket make sure you have a clear list of what you need – and stick to it!
- Portion planning – with produce and perishable items only buy what you will realistically use before they go off.
- Shop from your fridge first – plan your meals based on what you currently have in your fridge. Incorporate your fresh and perishable ingredients into your recipes. Be aware of use-by dates of products in your fridge.
- Organise your fridge – clear out anything that has gone off (and do your best not to let it happen from now on) and organise the shelves so you can easily see what you’ve got.
- Think cross over ingredients – when planning your meals think about using ingredients that can be used across recipes. It can be a real waste to have to buy some herbs just for one recipe that you won’t use again.
- Don’t shop when you are hungry – this is the easiest way to impulse buy and overspend, ending up with all sorts of weird and wonderful things you don’t need!
- Correct storage – when you bring the shopping home check labels on food for correct storage which will ensure items last as long as possible. Use your crisper drawer in the fridge to store fruit and vegetables.
- Use your freezer – if it looks like you aren’t going to use something in time or have leftovers – throw them in the freezer to have at a later date.
- Keep a diary of what you waste – if you do end up having to throw away some food, write down what it was and why. Refer back to it when you are writing your shopping list – this should help you keep food waste top of mind.