How much money do you spend per week on wasted food? This will vary depending on your family and your situation but many mums will spend a few minutes every week throwing out food that has gone off or gone stale. We have recently launched our Food Waste Challenge to help families reduce their food waste, thanks to our partners at GLAD. You could be wasting anywhere from $25 to $50 per week on food that wasn’t eaten in time or not stored properly. This adds up in the long run. Make the switch to a better storage system with these waste-free tips:
Put Leftovers First
Do you have a habit of placing your leftovers in a container and then storing them in the fridge will all intention of eating them the next day? However, do you then find this container in the back of your fridge several days later? This is a common problem. While you have every intention of ensuring all the leftovers are eaten, you often will forget by the next meal. One option is to have a special spot in the fridge, such as on the side or in one of the veggie chillers especially reserved for leftovers.
We have a number of leftover friendly recipes to try that will help you get more from your leftover food. Leftover mince, for example, can be used for Bolognaise Muffins, Cheesy Beef Puffs or Mince Scrolls.
Leftover chicken can be used for Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken Soup and Chicken Pizza.
Transform your leftover curry into Curry Risotto Balls.
These are only a few of the countless suggestions on what to do with your leftovers.
Protect Your Pantry Items
Leaving lids off things is a common problem, especially if you have children. Head to your nearest supermarket and pick up several different containers of all shapes and sizes. You can store all sorts of pantry items in these containers, from biscuits and cereal to chocolate chips, sugar and rolled oats. Having these items in sealed containers prevents the food from going stale and from letting creepy crawlies get into your food while you are sleeping.
It makes it a lot harder to store food in a fridge that is already filled to the brim before you have even done the weekly shop. Make it a habit of cleaning out your fridge and freezer completely once a month. This means taking out all the items, cleaning the sides and surfaces and returning the items into the fridge. That way you will know what is in there and what isn’t.
Keep a List
Having a grocery list attached to the fridge will also help you keep track of those condiment items that you need without buying double or opening two tins of the same thing. If you use similar items each week, such as jam, tomato sauce and paste, cream cheese, lemon squeeze and chicken stock, then you can even have a certain place in the fridge for these items. Once they are gone, you will know without finding a half empty mouldy package in the back.
There are certain staple items that will not last the week. For example, bread, milk and fruits and veggies will often go stale or spoil after a few days. Instead of doing one large shop every week, try to do two smaller shops twice a week. That way you can actually eat the bananas and finish the milk before it goes off. Or, invest in items that can stay in the pantry until they need to be opened, such as tinned fruits and lifelong milk.
All of these tips will help you cut down on the amount of spoiled food in your fridge and stale items in your pantry. What do you do to cut down on food wastage in your home?