Avoiding Food Waste


The cost of living is rising - we have been told this over and over, and it's scary stuff.  
Like many folk, we plan our meals and buy just what is needed.
But what can we all do to avoid wasting any food?
Do you feel bad - as I do - if food has to be thrown away?
This is what we do in our wee house to try and avoid food waste.

1. Try to cook just the amount that is needed.
    I can give you one example of this - Quorn mince.  We use this for bolognaise, cottage pie, chilli, etc.  The bag we buy is 500g unless it is cheaper to buy 300g bags (I check the per kg price).  

2.  Overcooking for a reason.
    In the past  - before becoming frugal - we have cooked the lot and maybe left a bowlful 'for the next day' in the fridge.  But we are not 'eat the same the next day' people..so this would eventually have gone into the bin.
Now we might cook the larger amount deliberately and freeze the second serving.  This uses less power by re-heating than cooking from fresh; and saves us time and effort too.  On and evening where we are tired/get home late/fancy a quick supper, we can just pop one in the microwave.

3. Always compost fresh veg ingredients.
     We live in a tiny house with a small garden, but we have a large compost bin.  It makes the-most-wonderful soil for garden plants for free!  I have always had a compost bin.  Even when we lived in the city centre with just a courtyard garden, I had plants so I made my own soil this way.  I add to it torn up newspaper, and in a hot summer I put in leftover (cooled) cooking water.  It is ripe with worms who do the business.  If you don't have one, I really do recommend it - a few years ago I set up Gorgeous Daughter with one from a local selling page as they can be quite expensive to but new.  She uses her religiously too.  I'm sure you know - but only put in raw vegetable and fruit waste.

4. Shop for just what you need.
    I am not a 'better than you' person.  It took me a LONG time to get on this particular bandwagon, but it is well well worth it.  I keep all the receipts from shopping for food.  I sit down with my notebook and write out from them just what we need this month - and check through the cupboards too.  I have a list of meals we like and plan to have the ingredients for these for the whole month.  I use an app which tells me the cheapest supermarket to buy things from, and I plan a click and collect or a delivery from these.  (See separate post on My Monthly Shopping Savings).

5. Using up leftovers.
    It is easy to use up leftovers by turning them into something else.  A good example of this is our Sunday roast meal.  We cook plenty of fresh veg and a joint of meat (usually a veg alternative too).  Leftover cooked veg is sometimes used at the start of the week to make a curry or a leftover meal, I might plate up an additional roast meal and use it next day or freeze it.  Leftover meat is sliced and given to the kids for packed lunch sandwiches.  Today, Man Wonderful has had leftover bolognaise for lunch and I had leftover curry from earlier in the week.  My fridge and freezer are fantastic for this. 

6.  Create another dish.
    Have dried lentils or tinned beans, spices, frozen veggies - you can add from these to a small amount of fresh veg and meat to make a variety of meals.  It is a very cheap way to eat.  

7. Pasta and Rice
    If we do cook too much pasta or rice, we freeze these as portions to microwave again.

8. Impulse buying
    Again, my hand is up as I have done this before we were frugal.  'Ooh that avocado looks lovely!' (Forgetting that we aren't home for many meals that week..) 'Let's have an aubergine this week, we haven't had aubergine for ages!' (Forgetting that I don't actually like aubergine...)
Check out My Monthly Shopping Savings post for how I avoid buying crap things we don't need or eat!

Can you add to this list?
Wat do you do to avoid food waste in your house?



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