Stop Food Waste Challenge
About the Challenge
There is no one way to reduce food waste but by working through the steps of the Stop Food Waste Challenge we hope you will find what works best for you. The main steps involved are listed below and we recommend that you try one a week. Best of luck!
Step 1. Awareness Challenge
Do you know how much you waste?
“My best tip from the stop food waste challenge was being made so aware of waste. I am a lot more conscious about shopping and I am saving a lot of money.” Sue in Roscommon
We all tend to think that we don’t waste too much food. But, when it comes to food waste what we think and what we do can often be very very different.
So, for 1 week why don’t you separate out your food waste from all your other waste. Keep a note of what and how much you throw out and of course, why it was thrown out. From this you identify the best areas for you to improve and target reducing your weekly food waste by 1/4. For more on this check out our Snapguide – How to know your food waste
Step 2. Planning Challenge
What do you need and what do you have?
“Planning your meals and your shopping, using what was in your freezer and cupboard did save me money” James in Clare
Planning meals is one of the most effective ways to reduce food waste and save money.
For 1 week, try to plan meals and shopping properly. Start by checking your fridge, freezer and store cupboard. Then, before you go shopping, make a list so you don’t buy things you already have. If shopping for a family get the kids to help and suggest what meals they’d like to have that week. Then you can work out a weekly meal plan.
Step 3. Shopping Challenge
What are your shopping habits?
“The printout of prices of pre-packaged compare to single items of fruit and veg was an eye opener as were the shopping tips and marketing tricks that supermarkets used” Jamie in Dublin
All the food that we waste, we first buy in a shop. And when it comes to shopping most of us do it in the same way week to week – be that the big weekly trolley shop or the hit and run basket shop.
How you shop can affect the amount of food you waste so, for a couple of weeks, watch your shopping habits and see how it compares with the food you waste from the first challenge.
Step 4. Storage Challenge
Are you wasting food by improper storage?
“I saved a lot of money on using up what was in my cupboards and freezers. My best tip is definitely knowing what you can freeze – like eggs!” Jessica in Waterford
Just like shopping, when it comes to storing food, we are creatures of habit. If you are not storing the food you paid for properly then it can become the waste you pay for.
From the first challenge you should know either the main foods you waste, or reasons you waste food. Try to change the way you store and mange your food at home to reduce this.
Step 5. Cooking Challenge
Are you getting value for what you bought?
“In general all information was very valuable and useful. I think that the food waste challenge of actually writing down what food you do actually waste really brought home and made me aware of what I waste and made me aware of using leftovers. Loved the composting information too very helpful” Ed in Cork
How you cook, serve and reuse food can ensure you get great value for money, have really tasty meals and also reduce food waste a lot.
Cook the right amount, use portion control so you won’t end up throwing stuff out. If you prepare too much, using serving bowls rather than putting all the food on plates, will allow you use leftover food that otherwise could have been waste. Incorporate leftovers into a meal.