1. Shop Smart
This I find particularly difficult. I’m no chef, but I sure can cook…when following instructions that is! Where I struggle is mixing and matching ingredients that go well together and reusing to make another tasty meal different from the night before. Writing a list and pre-planning meals can really help you organise your food properly food properly and means you avoid waste. Remembering to be a smart shopper by steering clear of impulse buys is something that I have always struggled with. They don’t always save you in the long run if you end up flinging it out!
2. Be Realistic
Another toughie if you live alone, but try and buy what you actually need. If a recipe asks you for two potatoes, don’t buy a whole bag. Know your own eating habits and head to the loose produce to save your waste and your pocket!
3. Make plan B’s
If you are buying something for a particular meal, think about what you’ll need to make a second meal from it. Or if you still have some of that fancy cheese lurking from Christmas, don’t let it just sit there because it looks like sadness – reuse it, give it a new lease of life and find out what else you can do with it. Camembert anyone?
Be a smart shopper and monitor what is in your fridge, cupboards and freezer. Before you go shopping, have a little check over what you have and when it goes out of date. When you get back from the supermarket, put the fresh stuff to the back and bring the older products to the front so they don’t get wasted.
5. One ‘Use it up’ meal a week
Challenge yourself, and your cooking skills by taking something from your cupboard and creating something new from leftovers. The challenge in itself will make you feel good and you can even incorporate many items in just one meal! This is where I really wish that there was an app for that…
6. Use all of it!
Leave your skin on your potatoes, shove that old fruit in a smoothie, and fling the rest of that leak in a stew. They are as good for you as they are delicious, I promise!
7. Store better
If you are regularly throwing away, well anything you probably aren’t storing them right. Invest in some tupperware – pound shop, there’s no excuses – and store, take to work, even pickle it if you so desire! Also take a good look at your fridge to see if you have put everything in the right place. They don’t call it the produce drawer for nothin’!
8. Understand sell by dates
Remember that a sell by date is exactly that, a SELL by date. Please do not misunderstand this as the use by date. Sometimes it isn’t even anything to do with food safety and are more to do with the manufacturers’ suggestion for peak quality. Give it a whiff and that should tell you, it’s nature’s use by date!
9. Don’t forget your doggy bag!
When eating out, remember that there is no shame in asking for a doggy bag. You paid for this delicious meal, so why shouldn’t you eat the rest when you are not fit to burst?! There’s a free lunch or happy puppy in it for you!
10. When all else fails, Google!
If there is ever a time that I don’t know how to cook/ use/ store a piece of food, there are millions of handy people just waiting to share their tips and tricks. Google always has the answer and it’s right at our fingertips. Save money, time and waste, after all, if you don’t ask you don’t get! The Greener Scotland website has plenty tasty recipes I’ll be trying: www.greenerscotland.org/eating-greener/recipe-finder.
I’ve been trying my best to follow these tips over the last few weeks and I have already noticed a difference in my fridge, and my weekly grocery spend. Just remember, by reducing the amount of food we throw away, you can save up to £470 a year. I’ve even found out some new recipes and realised that frozen toasted bread isn’t so bad, who’da thunk it?! How are you going to save your fridge? Let me know over at Twitter @foreverursbetty! Thanks to Greener Scotland for helping on my journey so far.