21 October 2013

10 Tips (and then some!) to help you reduce food waste and save money

Well Food Waste has hit the fan again, hasn't it!

Tesco has revealed it generated almost 30,000 tonnes of food waste in the first six months of 2013 in a report by the BBC and in accordance with their Every Little Helps Slogan they have issued an infographic about not wasting food at home which gives some useful info …

… but not enough by a long thingy!  I am not putting them down, really I’m not, but there is so very much more to be said!

The infographic is quite difficult to read even if you go to the link so I am going to help you with it!

“The Average UK family wastes £700 on food each year. “

Well not us.  I doubt we waste 700p on food each year. I have always been inspired when cooking by a little bit of this and a little bit of that and rarely waste a scrap.  

It is because of this tendency that I wrote my recently published book and as, apparently, October is National Self Promotion Month don’t blame me for mentioning "The Leftovers Handbook" several times in this post! 

The Leftovers Handbook (there I go!) is 45% off at Amazon at the moment (and 48% off the kindle version) so for an investment of £7.16 (£6.80) you could potentially save £700 and not only that – my ideas are not just to save money they are also creative and delicious.  The book tackles food waste and the waste of good eating opportunities!

“Onions - Don’t keep Onions in the fridge.  Store them in a brown paper bag in a cool and dark place.”

I have more to add to this including don’t store them with potatoes as they make each other go off! 

See here for The Best Way to Cook Onions, IMHO, and The Leftovers Handbook for more info on storage plus ideas of what to do with leftovers, obviously!

“Bread - 1/3 of the baguettes we buy go to waste.  Turn them into breadcrumbs and store them in the freezer.”

Correct!  At least 19 more ideas for leftover bread in my book!  Here’s a recipe for Fried Bread Curry (which believe me is delicious) I posted a while back just to give a taster. 

“Peppers - Leave the seeds and stalks connected and keep a half used pepper in the fridge.  Alternatively chop it up and freeze.”

I agree with that!  Of course there are also sorts of dishes that benefit from a little bit of leftover pepper; tomato soups and salads, pizza, sandwiches etc.

“Bagged Salad.  On average we waste half of what we buy.  Once opened store in an airtight container with a piece of tissue to make it last longer.” 

That’s true too but I’d be a bit more specific about the tissue paper – I use kitchen roll, very lightly dampen it and lay it over the leaves.  Having said that I usually keep lettuce in a loose plastic bag or, even better, buy the living leaves – they grow back.  

“Milk - Make a smoothie with your frozen fruit to use up milk.  Or make a cheese sauce for leftover veg and freeze.”

Also how about add to mashed potato or let it go off and make cheese?

“Apples - We waste nearly 20% of the apples we buy.  Store in the fridge in original packaging or lightly tied bag.”

Well I would open the bag, get some air to them and store the in a cool dark cupboard or similar, making sure they are all in good condition (“one bad apple spoils the whole barrel”) and not touching.  

I don’t think I’ve ever wasted an apple in my life  – there’s so many ways to use them up including the Cornish Apple Cribbly and Devonshire Apple Dappy recipes mentioned here  together with info on making apple sauce and 15 ways to use apple sauce.  There are 18 more ideas for leftover apples in The Leftovers Handbook.

“Cucumber - Make your cucumber last by placing the stalk end in a mall container of water and standing in the fridge door.”

I don’t know if this works or not so have no comment. 

If you have no immediate plans for your cucumber and don’t want it to go off then try the recipe here for Lightly Pickled Cucumber. 

“Mince Beef - Freeze your leftover lasagne or shepherd’s pie.”

Again, true enough.  If, however, you haven’t make a lasagne or Shepherd’s pie there are many other things you can do with minced beef, leftover or not – pastas, pies, sarnies, pizza, chilli etc. and so on.

“Grapes - Around 20% of the grapes we buy are not eaten.  Freeze leftover grapes and use them as ice cubes “

There are ten more good ideas for using up grapes in The Leftovers Handbook!

“Bananas - 1 in 10 bananas we buy goes to waste. Try adding to a vegetable curry or whizz and freeze for low calorie ice cream.”

Just for starters here’s a link for some more info on making  Famous One Ingredient Banana Ice Cream plus some other info, and there are 15 or more ideas in, you guessed it, The Leftovers Handbook.

Browse around Sudden Lunch for more ideas and, as I have hinted above, there is a great deal more information on avoiding food waste in here.  

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1 comment:

Sue said...

Brilliant ..... absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of self promotion :-)

Tesco should have come to you first and made their infographic even more useful!