Research has revealed that during lockdown, people on average reduced their food waste by over a third, thanks to planning shopping trips better and cooking more creatively.
However, levels of waste have started to creep back up, so here are 10 great tips to make your food last longer, which saves you money too.
1. Don’t stop chopping when you get to the end of the white bit of leeks and spring onions. The green ends are full of nutrients and packed with flavour. Just make sure you wash them thoroughly.
2. The end slices of a loaf of bread make perfect mini pizza bases. Make a super quick and cheap snack by piling grated cheese and your choice of toppings onto these thicker end slices – yum! If you won’t finish the loaf, you can freeze slices of bread and toast straight from the freezer - it tastes just as great.
3. The average UK fridge temperature is set at 7°C which is terrible news for milk and other food items, which can perish quickly when not stored at the correct temperature. Your food will stay fresher for up to three extra days if your fridge is set to 0–5°C.
4. Did you know that it’s best not to peel potatoes when making mash? Cut whole, clean potatoes into small cubes and boil for 15 minutes – mash them up with some butter and milk, and you will never notice the skins but will get all the nutritional benefits. And it saves you all that peeling too! If you’ve got loads leftover, pop it in the freezer for another day – this works for mash, roasties, or even chips.
Every year in the UK we throw £12 billion worth of perfectly good food in to the bin - but with a bit of creativity an average UK family could save themselves £50 a month.
5. Put wrinkly grapes in the freezer and they make a ‘grape’ alternative to ice-cubes. You can do the same with lemon slices - the perfect accompaniment to a well-earned G&T! If your bananas have gone brown, use them in a cake and if your strawberries are entering the mushy twilight of their lives, blend them in to a smoothie. Get creative!
6. Carrot leaves, sprout tops, the middle part of a cabbage, cauliflower leaves and beetroot skins are all perfectly edible - and delicious too.
7. It’s not just the leafy parts of your parsley, coriander and basil that can be eaten, the stalks are just as good. Chop them into dips and sauces, blitz them into pesto or sprinkle onto savoury dishes.
8. Keep your favourite salsa or dipping sauce handy when you next serve pizza to ensure the kids - and big kids - eat their crusts.
9. If your vegetables are looking a little wilted and sorry for themselves, wake them up in a bowl of cold water - they will be good as new in less than half an hour.
10. Who doesn’t love an apple crumble? But did you know that you don’t need to peel the apples? Simply slice them thinly or into small chunks, saving time and adding colour to your crumble too.