The best ways to reduce food waste at home
Nobody likes wasting food — in fact Olio research found that one in three people feel ‘physically pained’ when they have to throw out good food. Here are our tips for reducing food waste in your own home.
1. Shop with a list
People often think that doing a ‘big shop’ is a more economical way to buy food. And buying in bigger volumes can certainly work out cheaper, are you buying more than you need? If so, you’re not saving money at all. Instead, try to only buy as much as you can use up before the next visit. This might mean doing a couple of smaller visits to the supermarket mid-week rather than one big haul, or making use of smaller, local shops.
2. Learn to pickle and preserve
If you find yourself with a glut of fruit or veg that you know you’ll struggle to get through before it goes bad, set aside a portion to make a pickle, ferment or conserve. These make excellent homemade gifts, are satisfying to see in your home kitchen, and pickled or fermented foods have lots of health benefits too.
3. Share your spare
Anything that’s still packaged can be donated to your local food bank for people who don’t have enough food — click here to find your nearest drop-off spot. Alternatively, you can share all sorts of produce (as long as it’s still in a fresh, edible condition!) on Olio. Most food items are requested within a half our of being listed by a friendly neighbour who’ll come and collect it from you.
4. Meal plan for the week ahead
Arriving at the supermarket and trying to figure out what to buy is a recipe for disaster — we always end up being dazzled by deals and stocking up on things that we don’t end up using. Before you set off, make a plan for the meals you want to eat during the week ahead and list out the ingredients. Then stick to that list — it’ll be more economical and result in less waste overall.
5. Level-up your food storage organisation
Lots of us have kitchens filled with food, yet we feel like we need to go shopping. More often than not, this is a can’t-see-the-wood-for-the-trees situation, with forgotten treasure buried behind cans, packets and jars in our cupboards, fridges and freezers. Spend some time organising your stock and labelling it, so that when you take a look you can instantly see what you’ve got. That way, you can make a meal of what’s there, topping up with a couple of ingredients here and there.