According to Stop Food Waste, Irish households throw away the equivalent of €700 worth of food every year. We know. It’s a lot of money. So, in order to be kinder to our wallets, and the environment into which we are throwing our wasted food, try following our top tips:
FIND OUT where the most waste occurs in your house, and then think of some brilliant ways to use it up. For example, if you find yourself throwing out loads of bread, try freezing it and defrosting it in individual slices. Or, blitzing leftover bread into breadcrumbs with some herbs or Parmesan and freezing for later. Or how about using stale bread as croutons or as a part of a panzanella salad, mixed with roasted peppers, tomatoes and a balsamic dressing?
PLAN your meals and grocery shop for the week. Doing this not only saves you money but will cut your food waste significantly. Think about meals that will lend themselves naturally to the next night. For example, a large batch of bolognese might do spaghetti tonight and a lasagne tomorrow. Or a risotto tonight can be arancini tomorrow.
SAVE food rather than throwing it out. Decant leftovers into freezer bags and tubs and leave for freezer pot luck nights. Make a habit of having one clear out day, where tired vegetables and leftover meat get turned into a fritatta or kitchen cupboard paella.
STORE your food correctly. Food needs to be stored between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius to get the most time out of it. The temperature of your fridge should be 4C or below and the freezer at -17C or below. Freeze or refrigerate perishable food within two hours or one hour if the temperature is over 30C. Eat leftover food within four days of cooking.
ORGANISE your fridge and kitchen cupboards. In the fridge, put newer foods to the back, and rotate forwards as you use it. That way, you won’t find bags of mushy lettuce leaves stuffed at the back (we’ve all been there).
Feature photo credit via photopin