Meal planning and Cooking

“Plan Your Festive Food” to avoid Food Waste

“Plan Your Festive Food” to avoid Food Waste

Planning your festive food can help you avoid food waste and reduce stress and hassle while shopping for food and cooking over the festive season.

By planning during this busy time of year, you can be organised and take the stress out of entertaining at home with family and friends and avoid food waste.

Whether you are having a small or large Christmas gathering, you should plan what food and the amount you will need for the number people joining you for Christmas.

Investing a little time to plan your Festive Food can:

  • Save you money as you are focused on buying food you know you and your friends and family will eat.
  • Save you time in your busy schedule as you’re not wasting time thinking about what you are going to eat or shopping for food items you don’t need.
  • Make you feel more organised especially during the busy run up to Christmas. Having the food you need for the guests you have invited takes one stress away.

Here’s our top tips to “Plan Your Festive Food” and avoid food waste:

  • Find out if any guests have dietary needs or don’t like certain foods so you serve what people will eat.
  • Use the Food Guest-Imator to estimate how much food you will need to keep your guests happy.
  • Make your festive food menu and shopping plan and remember to check your freezer, fridge and cupboards for ingredients you have already to make tasty dishes and save money.
  • Prepare smaller portion sizes for a party as there will be different dishes for guests to eat and remember people usually take a spoonful, not a full portion size, of side dishes such as green salad.
  • Allow guests to serve themselves from bowls and platters as they are more likely to take the amount of food they want to eat and to keep any leftovers for lunch the next day.
  • Don’t put all your perishable food out in one go, instead keep some in the fridge so you can put out more when they are eaten.
  • Make food goody bags for your guests and send your guests home with something delicious to eat the next day.
  • Keep or freeze any leftovers for lunch the next day or you can freeze almost anything e.g., cooked meats, sauces etc. for another time or your next party!
  • Ask guests to bring side dishes or dessert to save you buying or preparing too much, or guests bringing the same food.

Extra tips to avoid food waste when planning for Christmas Day:

  • On the run up to Christmas use up food you already have in your freezer, cupboards and fridge to make tasty meals, so you save money and free-up space for festive treats and food.
  • Plan what food and the amount you will need for the number of people joining you for Christmas and trust your plan, don’t buy extra just in case!
  • Save money, time, and stress by making a grocery list and stick to it when shopping. Don’t be tempted by perishable food special offers, they’re only a good deal if you eat them.
  • Over the festive season, store food properly to make it last longer and eat the more perishable foods first.
  • Think about what food was thrown out last Christmas and anticipate how much food your family and friends will actually want to eat this year.
  • If plans change or you receive gifts of food from family or friends, remember you can freeze almost anything for another time.
  • For most of us leftovers are the main staple on St. Stephen’s Day. Once cooled, place leftovers in reusable, resealable tubs in the fridge to be eaten later and not forgotten.

Share your planning hacks!

We’d love to hear what kind of planner you are and how you’re taking steps to avoid food waste over the festive period by planning ahead. Show us how you plan out your meals and share your top tips for avoiding food waste by using #PlanYourFestiveFood on social media!

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