It may be a long time since the Second World War, but many will have heard the phrase “Waste not, want not”.
Some may dispute the relevance of the phrase when you can easily pop to a supermarket, but in a time where people are glad to be past the worst of the recession, more and more people are deciding to really make the most of their money and their food.
However, data from Wrap (Waste and Resources Action Programme) indicates that Brits throw away the equivalent of 24 meals per month; figures are 21% better than in 2007 but these statistics show more can be done.
To help you minimise your food waste, here are 6 tips to help you make the most of your groceries.
1) Plan Ahead
The best way to ensure you get the most out of your food is to plan your meals in advance. This means you are only buying what you need when you visit the supermarket and can save money by minimizing waste.
If you get any meal ideas during the week, make a note of it and then save it for the next time you put together your shopping list for next week’s meals.
2) Do A Weekly Shop Rather Than Monthly
A weekly shop should mean that you are able to minimise the amount of food wasted through it going past its sell-by date.
It also allows you to make any meals that you may have seen or craved in the week that you would like to try.
3) Shop In Store
Whilst shopping online can be more convenient for many people, saving time and money on petrol, the downside is that you cannot look for the use by or sell by dates. In some cases people who have done their shopping online have seen products starting to go off before they have a chance to use them.
4) Do A Stock Take
Look at what you have left in the fridge, freezer, cupboards and pantry. Once you know what you have available, your dinner options are dramatically reduced which makes choosing much easier.
If you have some things that are close to a use by date, a best before date or if they’re simply looking past their best you should look to use these before other food items that you have.
5) Take To The Internet
Did you know that you can search many of the cookery websites for recipes that include specific ingredients?
Sites like AllRecipes, the BBC’s Food Section and BBC Good Food are all excellent starting points to finding a recipe that uses any food that needs to be eaten.
This can allow you to broaden your cookery skills at the same time as making sure you are not letting any food go to waste.
6) Make Takeaways a Last Resort
Takeaways can be the enemy of anyone looking to make the most of the food that they have at home.
They are so easy to get and can often be a very attractive option for anyone who doesn’t want to cook after a hard day at work.
However, as well as being bad for you they are usually much more expensive than buying the ingredients yourself.