Image of someone putting food into the bin

Do you make too much food sometimes and throw it away? Do you buy too much food so it goes off before you can eat it? Are you spending more money on food just to throw it away?

If this is you then read this blog post as today (28th April) is FOOD WASTE DAY!

I know the feeling when you open the fridge or look in your cupboard and you have a moldy piece of fruit or slimy vegetables. It is so annoying to have to throw it away, – if you’d have eaten it earlier, you wouldn’t have had to waste it. This blog is going to give you 5 tips to reduce your food waste, and hopefully get the most out of your money!

1 – Check the dates on your food

There is nothing worse than starting to cook dinner and realising that your meat or your ingredients have gone bad. While it can be alright to eat out-of-date vegetables if they still look and smell fine, it’s really important that you don’t eat dodgy meat, especially chicken. Shops put their shortest dated items at the front so they are bought first, but this can sometimes only be a couple of days. As a student, you probably won’t have the freezer space to freeze it all, therefore, my tip is to buy products from the back of the shelves so that you have more flexibility and time to make a space in your freezer.

2 – Portion sizes

Make sure that you know how many portions you want to get out of your meal. For example, you might be making a Spaghetti Bolognese and want to freeze half of the portion you make. Therefore, you need to be mindful of how much you are putting in and also how much you eat. If you give yourself a portion too big or small you won’t enjoy your meal and may end up throwing things away – or not using all the ingredients you needed to meaning they go to waste too! The tip here is to plan the quantity of food you’ll be buying to make the right amount of food.

3 – Meal Plan

Following on from planning portion sizes, you should also aim to plan what meals you’re going to have each day. You can include use-by dates in this plan so you use up all of your food in time, without waste. It is also really useful as you won’t be left with an imbalance between certain foods such as lots of vegetables but having nothing to go with it.

4 – Freeze and Reuse leftovers

You might make a mistake one day and cook too much or decide that you aren’t as hungry as you thought you’d be. In this situation, try not to throw away the food! If possible, freeze the meal so you can reuse what you don’t eat in another dinner. Some foods can’t be frozen, and others can’t be reheated but as long as you reuse what you can for other meals. you’ll reduce your waste and get value for money out of your food.

5 – Use food waste apps and sites

There are some apps and websites that you can log onto to get free or very cheap food. This could be from where a restaurant or café has leftover food at the end of the day that either needs to be thrown away or given away on these sites. One example of this is Olio. On the app you can see the locations where food is being given away and you can go and collect this to get some extra food. It is a great way to stop food waste because students cater for one person, some packs of food such as vegetables can be too big for just one person to use before they go off.

I hope that you enjoyed these tips and reduce your food waste today!

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