Hundreds of millions of tons of food are wasted around the world each year. And while this is a huge issue in itself, it’s the accompanying packaging that’s harming the environment even more.
In this post, we’re going to discuss how you can reduce food waste at home, to save money and reduce your impact on the environment.
Organise your shopping list
Of course, a lot of money can be saved if we simply plan what we are going to buy before we set off to the shops. It’s also much easier to stick to your shopping list if you’re not hungry when at the supermarket. Over-ordering can quickly lead to food being wasted, as fruit and vegetables have short expiry dates, even when properly stored.
Doing smaller food shops can be tedious, but a lot less wasteful. It’ll also eventually save you money while keeping your cupboards fully stocked.
Avoid buying duplicates
This goes hand in hand with planning your meals. When heading to the shops, it’s important to check what you actually still have. Otherwise, you could quickly end up buying duplicates and wasting food and money.
Keep tabs on expiry dates
It’s easy to forget about things when they’re sat at the back of the fridge. But keeping track of expiry dates can seriously help when it comes to not wasting food. It’s also worth checking which foods are suitable for freezing, so that you can make the most out of your fridge space and not waste your money on buying need items.
And, don’t forget that expiry dates are different to best before dates. Items are mainly totally fine to consume after the best before date -it just might not be as nutritious as it was before. It’s much better for your bank balance, and the environment to think about expiry dates, rather than the best before.
The easiest way to make sure you’re only ever buying exactly what you need is to plan your meals well in advanced and practice some batch cooking recipes. Batch cooking also means you have less to think about after a long day, and you can quickly grab a bite to eat without much prep required. Take advantage of the takeaway packaging and tubs you’ve got lining the cupboard, cook in bulk and place the portions in the freezer.
Freeze what you can
Which brings us to our final point: Freeze everything that you can. You’ll be surprised by just how much is suitable for freezing, and your food will have a much longer shelf life when frozen. Meat, milk, fruit and even cheese can be frozen and defrosted when needed. When you get home from your food shop, make sure you look at the expiration dates and freeze the items that go out first.
Reducing food waste might seem a little difficult at first, but it simply comes down to planning. Making sure you’re organised with a shopping list, freezing what you can and batch cooking can all work wonders to reduce waste and save money.