From the raw ingredients to the last bite of your leftovers, by saving more food from the bin, you’ll save more money from going down the drain.
Whatever your expertise in the kitchen – there are lots of small steps you can take to stop food waste when cooking.
Make the Most of What You Have.
- Base recipes on ingredients to hand – if you have fresh meat, fish, or fruit and vegetables which need to be used, make those ingredients the starting point for any recipe.
- Add an extra one of your 7-a-day – fresh fruit and vegetables are one of the most common items of waste. Building an extra serving into your meals is a great way to use up what you have and to get another of your seven-a-day, e.g. adding fruit to your breakfast cereal, a side salad with lunch, or an extra serving of greens with dinner.
- Get creative – Lots of what we may think can’t be eaten can actually be given another, delicious lease of life, e.g. tossing potato peels in olive oil, salt and pepper, and baking in the oven to make crisps, or blitzing leftover bread into breadcrumbs and freezing for future use.
Top Tip: Search our A-Z Food Guide for more creative tips and find recipe inspiration here.
Perfect Your Portions.
- Measure out what you’ll need – most product packaging will include guidance on portion sizes which you can increase or decrease depending on your appetite or on how many meals you’re preparing, e.g. if you’re happy to eat leftovers for lunch the next day, making an extra portion at dinner can save time, energy and food waste!
- Serve up family-style – Serving food in bowls or platters and allowing everyone to help themselves can be a useful way to stop food waste as we’re more likely to box up leftovers from serving dishes than from individual plates.
Top Tip: Find out how to perfect your portions.
Love Your Leftovers.
- Use them before you have to lose them – Did you know that forgetting to eat leftovers is one of the most common reasons why we waste food? We are good at storing our leftovers in the fridge, now we need to prioritise using leftovers up while they are good to eat or freeze them for a tasty meal another time. .
- Bulk up for another meal – if you have leftovers from dinner, or a takeaway, consider what fresh food you could add to give it another lease of life, e.g. cooking fresh rice to serve with leftover curry sauce or stir-frying fresh greens to add to leftover noodles.
- When life gives you leftovers, embrace Tapas – if you tend to accumulate small servings of food over a few days which won’t make a full meal, why not raid the fridge and freezer to serve up something fun ‘tapas style’! This is a great way to use up food before a big shop!
- Get creative – some of our most-loved recipes were conceived from leftovers – the Sunday Roast was transformed into Shephard’s Pie. Consider ingredients like eggs, pasta and potatoes as superheroes for leftovers and get creative with new omelette or stir-fry recipes!
Top Tip: How you reheat leftovers can help to revive them, e.g. adding a splash of water when microwaving grains – find out more here. And don’t forget about leftovers when eating out too.
Food Waste-Free Events
We can enjoy seasonal events and celebrations from picnics to Christmas dinners without wasting food. Find out about tips and advice for food waste-free events and celebrations.