Did you know that in Kirklees around a third of our bins are full of food waste?! Most of this is food that we could have eaten.
Nationally, the average family with children throws away £60 worth of food a month, that’s about £700 per year, and an average person could save £200 if they could reduce the food that goes in the bin.
Reducing food waste is easy with just a few simple changes to the way we buy, use and store food.
Shopping smart is as simple as it sounds, however it is one of the most important things you can do to reduce food waste and save money on your food bills. All you have to do is spend a little time each week planning your meals and the ingredients needed, but you must then stick to the list when shopping! Follow these two easy steps and you will see your food waste, and, food bills reduce instantly.
What are you waiting for? Use any of the following tips and start Shopping Smart today:
Learn to love a list. Having a list in the kitchen that you can add staple foods to means there will be nothing missed from the weekly shop. Always take your list with you and tick off items as you shop.
Shop hAppy. There are some great shopping list apps on mobiles and tablets, some can be downloaded for free onto your device. Visit the app store and download which ever suits you best. Remember downloading apps will use mobile data if you are not connected to WiFi, always check your mobile data plan before downloading apps.
Stick it on the fridge. Having a meal planner on the fridge that you can add to throughout the week, this will make it much easier to create your shopping list before you head off to the shops.
Take a ‘shelfie’. It’s easy to forget what you have in the fridge when you’re out and about, why not take a ‘shelfie’ so you know exactly what’s in. Taking a picture on your phone of your fridge or cupboards is a good way of stopping you from buying stuff you already have at home.
Once you have planned your purchases to perfection you are ready to take on the supermarket (which is not always the most pleasurable experience). We have put together a useful guide that makes shopping that little bit easier.
BOGOF! Don’t get sucked into buying items because of the all singing all dancing offers, always check the value per pence according to the weight or size of the item, this will usually be found in small print on the item tag stuck on the shelf.
Hang loose. Choose loose items such as fruit and veg so you have better control on portion size; they are often cheaper than the prepacked items too.
Armchair shopping. Have a look around online for deals and new customer offers. Shopping online is a great way to avoid buy things just catch your eye. Stick to your list and use the search function to just view the items you need.
A date with destiny
Always check the best before and used by dates on food products. Consult your meal planner; if the item is to be used within the next couple of days chose the shortest date on the shelf (to avoid it being wasted at the supermarket). If you plan to use the later in the week, select the longest date available (so it doesn’t end up in your bin!).
There are that many different labels, dates, and numbers on foods these days it’s hard to know what they all mean. We have put together a useful guide that will show you what you are looking for and where to find it when you are buying food.
Use your loaf. Best before dates refer to the quality of the food, not whether it is safe to eat or not. Products that have passed their best before date will still be fine to eat; it just means they may no longer be at their best. If the product smells, looks, and feels OK then it is good to eat even after the Best Before date.
Use-by or else! These dates refer to the safety of eating food. You are fine to eat products up to the end of this date but not after, even if you think it looks or smells OK. Always respect, and adhere to, the use-by dates on food packaging.
Display until and sell by:
Forget about it! These dates are for shop staff members only; just concentrate on the Best Before and Use-by dates.
Portions and leftovers
Eyes bigger than your belly?
Portion size is one of the biggest contributors to food waste, whether it be cooking a huge pan of rice that would feed an army or boiling enough spaghetti to feed southern Italy. We all fall into the trap of making too much food, find further information on the art of portion control here;
Having left overs isn’t the end of the world as there are loads of recipes out there that can turn sorry scraps into scintillating seconds. Some great recipes can be found at the following websites;