How to reduce food waste (Part one)

With the cost of living hitting an all-time high, finding ways to reduce the amount of food your household wastes helps your money go further. Read on for some savvy tips and tricks . . .

Shop smarter to reduce food waste

There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of the week and having to throw food away because it’s gone bad or is a bit ropey-looking. You’re basically throwing cash straight in the bin! But, with some savvy shopping and storage tricks, you can reduce the amount of food you waste and save some money. Good for the planet and your pocket.

small shopping trolley with food in the background

Storing meat

Storing meat at the bottom of the fridge stops it from contaminating other food. That’s something that most people already know but, did you know the bottom shelf also keeps it at the perfect temperature? Bottom shelf = lowest temperature in the fridge.

Bulk buy

Bulk buying is quite often cheaper so, buy larger amounts of meat and freeze it on the day you purchase it. Check out these freezing guidelines:

  • Red meat – up to 12 months
  • Minced red meat – up to 6 months
  • Chicken – up to 6 months
  • Turkey – up to 6 months
  • Bacon – up to 3 months
  • Pork joint – up to 12 months
  • Pork chops – up to 6 months
  • Venison – up to 12 months
  • Burgers – up to 6 months

 

meat being frozen to reduce food waste

The cure?

Try your hand at curing your meat. A quick search on the internet brings up lots of results on how to do it. Curing with salt seems to be the easiest way. This involves covering the meat entirely in salt and storing in an air-tight container at 24°C. How long you ‘cure’ it depends on the thickness of the meat – thinner cuts work better. But, once cured, the meat lasts 3-4 months, depending on how you store it. Why not have a chat with us about the best cuts for curing?

Cook it

When you get your meat home, cook it properly and utilise every bit of it. For example, buying a piece of beef for roasting on Sunday for dinner can give you three meals. Roast for Sunday, then use some of the leftovers on Monday for lunch in a tasty beef sandwich with some delicious horseradish sauce. Then grind what’s left, add some seasoning, and voila, tacos for Tuesday evening. The bones can be used for making some delicious stock, soup, and gravy.

a joint of roast beef ready for serving

Fruit, veg and other leftovers

If the fruit and veg in your fridge is looking past its best, the temptation to throw it out should be ignored!

Vegetables that have started to go a little squishy make great soup or vegetable stock. Or, chuck them in a roasting tin with some herbs and a drizzle of olive oil, perfectly delicious roasted veg. Pair with a tasty pork chop and you have a reasonably healthy dinner.

While we are on the subject of soup made from less than perfect veg and leftovers, BBC Good Food has some excellent soup recipes to make.

Any fruit that is past its best is crying out to be made into a pie or a crumble. Berries can be blitzed in a hand blender and you have a delicious milkshake. Or you could even puree them and use as a drizzle.

Not always past its best

Even a loaf of stale bread needn’t end up in the bin. Whiz it in a blender and you have homemade breadcrumbs.

Just because your produce is past its ‘best before’ date, doesn’t mean it needs to be turfed out. If it appears to be fresh and useable, with no mold or obvious nasty bits, it’s okay to eat.

Keen to find out more? Keep tuned. Part 2 of our how to reduce food waste is coming soon . . .