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How to reduce food waste at home and save money

How much money do you reckon you waste throwing out food? £10? £20? The answer could be much more than you think. In fact, each month, the average family throws away almost £60 of good food that was bought but not eaten, according to Love Food Hate Waste.

It's an amount not to be sniffed at. But making a few simple changes to the way you deal with the food already in your cupboards could put the money back in your pocket and help you come up with some great recipe ideas to kick 2016 off with.

How to avoid wasting food

Our infographic, made with Love Food Hate Waste, can help you make the first steps to cutting down on your food waste. Why don’t you print it out and put it on your fridge to help you with your food waste resolution?  

Click here for a printable version.

Top tips for cutting down on food waste

Meal planning is also key to avoiding waste. Before you nip to the supermarket, check you don’t already have the items you need hidden in your cupboards. Take a rummage in your fridge and freezer – is there anything you could make in there?

Getting savvy with your leftovers is also helpful. Could your wrinkly veg have a new life in a soup or stir fry instead of ending up in the bin? Could any fruit that’s past its best be whipped up in the blender for a smoothie instead?

How much are you spending on food at the moment? Using a tool such as our Budget Planner can help you pinpoint all your costs. Sometimes seeing your spending in black and white is the motivation you need to cut back!

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  • plus100years / 21 June 2017

    These are fabulous ideas for reducing the food waste at home. I also try to reduce the food waste at home and I am planning the meals for a week so I can use all the products there are in the fridge. I’ll definitely try this. Thanks Florence Buswell for these amazing ideas 🙂

  • Ruth Thompson / 12 March 2016

    Great infographics! I'm definitely sharing this post with my sister, because she's now trying to reduce the food waste of her family and here are some great ideas for her. Thank you for sharing all this nice info! Greets, Ruth

  • Rosetta Graham / 23 February 2016

    I have made a cottage pie with a microwaveable potato topping. The potato carton said "do no reheat" and there is quite a large portion left over. Could you please let me know if it is safe to eat? Thank you

  • Roisin D'Arcy / 25 January 2016

    1. Freeze food in freezer
    2. Wrap food up to make sure it doesn't go out date

  • Ray Baldacchino / 24 January 2016

    Before it was decided to put dates on food, people used to use their senses - appearance, smell and taste - to decide whether food was fit for human consumption. We can still do that now. I don't agree that 'use-by' dates should be strictly adhered to. For example, many processed foods like, bacon, ham, cooked meats, sausages, have so many preservatives in them, they can be kept much longer, as I know from experience. Many diary foods, whether 'use-by' or not, keep longer than the dates, e.g butter and cheese. Many foods in tins or equivalent containers i.e sealed containers keep longer than the dates because air is excluded and they are sterile when packed.

    Another way to lengthen the life of food, apart from freezing, is to cook it, thus sterilizing it, which means you can keep it in the fridge up to 7 days longer, or you can freeze it although cooked food may not keep as long or as well as the uncooked version.

    You can also buy vacuum sealers which keep air out of the sealed pack and can extend the life of some food by up to 2/3 weeks.

  • patricia pillings / 24 January 2016

    We don't eat much bread so I buy a fresh loaf sliced, put it straight in the freezer and take out slices as required. Slices quickly defrost when needed. Also make my own fresh breadcrumbs with a couple of slices in the food processor, or for golden breadcrumbs make bread rusks when the oven is being used then food process into breadcrumbs and store in a jar for another day.

  • patricia pillings / 24 January 2016

    I split 500g of beef mince into 3 portions before putting in the freezer. For two of us that will make 3 cheap spaghetti bolognaise, lasagne, or meatball meals and keep our weight in control as well.

  • Wendy-jane millward- brader / 20 January 2016

    I seriously need these tips,I will find them very helpful when things start getting s big drastic in the fridge department.

  • Kirstie / 20 January 2016

    I think it's a good thing to do I do it with veg what ever I have left I give it to my pet rabbits

  • doug wheeler / 20 January 2016

    when a crusty loaf is over a couple of days old or it is a bit hard to the touch just put it under a running tap to damp it down then put it in the oven at 200c for about 20mins and you will have a fresh and crispy loaf eat it hot its lovley

  • AlanJ / 18 January 2016

    One obvious suggestion here is to simply EAT LESS. As a nation we are all heading towards overweight and obese. Change your eating habits by changing your shopping habits, reduce the amount you buy and this will help you reduce the amount you eat. Drink plenty of water too - hunger is often actually dehydration!

  • Georgia / 16 January 2016

    It is really good but I want to no why can u have a saving your money

  • Joan / 16 January 2016

    Grapes gone wrinkly? No problem, make them into sultanas or raisins by putting them on a piece of crinkled up kitchen roll on a plate or in a small basket so air can circulate around them (the type we used to get Chicken and Chips in at the pub). Leave them on a windowsill or somewhere they won't be disturbed or splashed until they are completely wrinkled and are now dried fruit for putting in cakes or onto breakfast cereals etc. Wash before use as they have been in the air for a while. It takes a few days for them to dry.

  • Francesca White / 16 January 2016

    I consider myself a savvy shopper. Great ideas on your site. Here's some more ideas....
    Cook two casseroles in the oven at the same time. Freeze one. Put 'floppy' carrots in a bowl of cold water in the fridge. They will be as good as new after an hour. Remove mould from hard cheese and jars of jam. Freeze sandwich portions of bread in cling film. Defrost, make your sandwich, re-wrap in the cling film. Make stock from the roast carcass for healthy soups, risottos etc. Add grated carrots to spag bol to bulk it out.

  • Yannick / 15 January 2016

    This is amazing advise. I have copied this and I will lecture my friend at church. Thank you so so much.

  • nicky timms / 15 January 2016

    really good idea,

  • Aly Penrose / 13 January 2016

    Great advice. Thanks :)

  • geoffrey o'neill / 13 January 2016

    I live with my mum and we are always looking for bargains Lidl and Aldi are favourite shops, if we can't get what we looking for then it's a supermarket. ps new starter

  • Jane / 13 January 2016

    I turn odds and ends of bread into breadcrumbs. Then I can use them mixed with cheese for a crunchy topping on bakes, or turn chicken into children-friendly nuggets or... there's a million things to do with breadcrumbs.

  • Lesley Corderoy / 10 January 2016

    It is so true we waste so much food that can still be used or frozen.

  • gill / 7 January 2016

    i would like recipes on food wasting as i got cholestrol n really need help with my diet.

  • Pat Cowgill / 7 January 2016

    I am still trying to find your budget planner. I can't give feedback until I have usef your planners. Where do I find Cash flow and budget planners?

    ADMIN: Hi Pat - the link to our Budget Planner is below the commenting section. Here it is for you - I hope you find it useful.

  • Gen Moss / 7 January 2016

    Love the meal planning. Must check when oldest is working so won't want food cooked too. Let's see how well we do through the year.