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Love Food - Hate Waste

The Five Key Behaviours

UK households waste around £12 billion worth of good food and drink a year, costing the average family with children around £680 a year, that's up to £50 a month!

Most of this food and drink waste could have been avoided if we'd only managed it better; for example making sure we eat it in time, knowing just how much food to prepare, and knowing what we can do with our leftovers.

It pays to plan

Shopping without a plan or a list means we may be more likely to buy more than we need and that food could end up in the bin.

What are the benefits of planning ahead?

  • Reduces food waste - menu planning means we only buy what we need
  • Saves you money - if you shop from a list you're less likely to impulse buy
  • Uses up leftovers and freezer meals - if included in your plan you can be more prepared and are more likely to use up leftovers and what's in your freezer
  • Reduces stress and saves time - if you know what you're having for dinner you don't have to worry about what to cook every night
  • Improves variety and nutrition - by planning a varied and balanced diet
  • Get's others involved - you can get the whole family involved and excited about what they are going to eat

Know your dates

Do you know what those date labels mean?

  • Use by - Food can be eaten up to the end of this date, but not after.
  • Best Before - When this date is passed the food won't be unsafe but may begin to loose flavour or texture
  • Display until/Sell by - You can ignore these dates as they are for shop staff not shoppers
  • Other guidance - always follow pack storage guidance and instructions such as 'eat within three days of opening'

Savvy Storage

Storing food properly can give your food days, weeks and even months of extra life.

Your fridge can be your best friend when it comes to storing food and the correct temperature should be below 5oC. A recent study showed that the average fridge temperature in the UK is 7oC and this difference can reduce the shelf-life of your food dramatically. For example the shelf-life of milk can be reduced by three days in a fridge that runs above 5oC. 

There's not much that can't be frozen until it's needed and the freezer is a great tool for making sure you've always got food in stock and for helping avoid wasting it. In theory you can keep food in the freezer for years, as long as it stays frozen, but the taste and texture does change over time, so you should aim to eat your frozen foods within three months. Wrapping your food correctly and labelling it well helps you get the best out of your freezer food.

Find out the best way to store food in your fridge, freezer and cupboard as well as some other savvy tips at Love Food Hate Waste.

Perfect Portions

At some time or another we've all cooked a bit too much food for dinner. It's easily done, especially with pasta, rice and potatoes. Luckily, the perfect thing for measuring a portion is probably sitting in one of your kitchen cupboards or drawers. A mug or tablespoon can be used to work out the perfect amount.

For the perfect portioning tool for a wide range of meals try the Love Food Hate Waste portion calculator.

Lovely Leftovers

Wasted leftovers are a waste of our money and time. Just think - if we used leftovers for lunch the next day we could save the cost of a sandwich which mounts up day after day.

Leftovers have always been associated with a Sunday roast followed by bubble and squeak on Monday, but they can be much more exciting. For instance some leftover food can be eaten cold the next day or mixed with other ingredients to create a brand new dish.  

Leftovers can last up to two days in the fridge or can be frozen for another time. Remember to defrost them in the fridge and use within 24 hours.

Visit lovefoodhatewaste.com for some great recipe ideas for using up your leftovers

Last updated: 07/07/2016

Get in touch with Kettering Borough Council

Email: customerservices@kettering.gov.uk. Telephone: 01536 410333.

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