UK households waste the equivalent of £12.5 billion of good food and drink each year. This costs the average family with children around £700 a year, or up to £60 a month.
There’s a huge opportunity for us to cut what we spend by saving more of the food we buy. We can do this by making sure we eat it in time, knowing how much food to prepare and knowing what we can do with our leftovers.
Wasting food and drink is a waste of money. It’s also a waste of the energy and natural resources which went into food production, storage, preparation, packaging and transport of that food.
If we stop throwing good food away, we could save as much in carbon emissions as we would by taking 25% of cars off UK roads.
Recycle your food waste with the Garden Recycling Scheme!
From this year, our (free!) Garden Recycling Scheme will let you recycle food waste alongside your grass, leaves, and flowers. Find out more and register on our Garden Recycling Scheme webpage.
Love Food Hate Waste
Love Food Hate Waste (LFHW) is a national initiative to try to address the issue of food waste. Here are a few of their suggestions:
- Plan ahead. Shopping without a plan or a list means we may be tempted to buy more than we need - in other words, food that could end up in the bin. Check your fridge, freezer and store cupboard and check what you need. Then before you go shopping think about what meals you can make and write a shopping list so you don’t buy things you already have.
- Know your dates. Check the dates on items in your fridge and move items into the freezer if you don’t think you’ll have time to eat or cook them.
- Savvy storage. View our A-Z of food storage for tips and advice.
- Perfect portions. Reduce the amount of food you waste by measuring out your perfect portion. For instance, a mug full of rice will serve four adults. Check out LFHW's Portion Planner for more help getting your helpings just the right size.
- Love your leftovers. The Love Food Hate Waste website helps you to find recipes for your leftovers.
LFHW have also produced a Food's Not Rubbish quiz to test your knowledge.
What else can I do to reduce food waste?
A great place to start is to keep a food waste diary. Write down every bit of food you throw away, noting why you had to chuck it instead of using it up. This will help you spot which foods you waste more than others, and make you think twice about what you buy next time you do a food shop.
Download this Love Food Hate Waste - food diary if you want to give it a try.
Remember, your freezer is your best tool for tackling food waste! The majority of foods can be frozen right up to their 'use by' date so you can use them later on.
If you've got some veggies that you know you won't use in time, for example, chop them up ready to cook and freeze them. That way, you can grab a handful at a time and use them all up rather than throwing any away.
Why not try Olio? Olio connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. This could be food nearing its sell-by date in local stores, spare home-grown vegetables, bread from your baker, or the groceries in your fridge when you go away. Visit the Olio website to find out more or download the app on Google Play or the App Store to get started!