Australians alone throw away $8 billion worth of edible food (up to 20 per cent of our groceries) every year, often because we buy too much or aren’t sure what to do with leftovers. Try these simple ways to reduce your household food waste:
- Take a shopping list – by planning meals in advance, you avoid buying items you don’t need and won’t use. Take a look in your fridge or pantry before leaving home and write a shopping list to avoid impulse purchases.
- Cook only what you need – a great way to reduce food waste is to portion sizes, so cook only what is required. It takes 15 minutes to fill up, so give yourself some time before heading back to the kitchen – you might be surprised at how full you feel half an hour after finishing your meal.
- Learn to love your leftovers – have your leftovers for lunch or pop them in the freezer for a quick meal on a night you don’t have time to cook.
- Don’t toss fresh produce the minute it passes its prime – fruit that is bruising can be frozen (and popped into smoothies), whereas spotty bananas make great banana cakes. Soft tomatoes are perfect for making pasta sauce, and, veggies that start to wilt are fine to go into soups or stocks.
- Use a FIFO – first in, first out system for your perishables so that you don’t have mystery leftovers lurking in your kitchen cabinets.