Thank you to the 888 households who got involved in our #WasteLessLiveMore challenge. Together we saved thousands, using our simple tips and tricks to cut food waste at home.
For everyone who got involved - keep up the great work. And its not too late to cut your waste too, with our easy top tips, with thanks to our friends from WRAP.
Tip 1 - Bypass the perfect looking veg
When you head to the shops, bypass the perfect looking food. The ones with lumps and bumps taste just as delicious but nearly always get chucked away by shops. So look past the imperfections and love your wonky vegetables.
Tip 2- Perfect your portions
Whether it’s your eyes being bigger than your stomach or just not knowing how big a portion is, cooking too much can cause a lot of waste. Our easy portions guide can help:
Rice 1 Portion = 1/2 Cup
Pasta 1 Portion = A pile the size of a clenched fist
Lentils 1 Portion = 1/2 Cup
Vegetables 1 Portion = 1/2 Cup
Meat 1 Portion = The size of your palm and the thickness of a pack of playing cards
Tip 3 - Have a 'use-it-up night' once a week
Wait for your leftover food to cool and store it in a reusable container in the fridge for tomorrow. Or freeze it if you don’t fancy eating the same thing again too soon.
If it’s not quite enough for a full meal, add it into whatever you cook the following night. Vegetables and meat can be added to most dishes - mixed with pasta, flung onto pastry for a tart or chucked into a curry. Pasta and rice can be put into oven bakes, salads and wraps. Potatoes can be fried up or turned into hash browns or latkes.
Tip 4 - Write a shopping list
Save money simply by making a list. Stick some paper to your fridge or make a shopping list on your phone. When something runs out, write it on the list. Take that list to the shop and only buy those things. Two-for-one deals are always so appealing but don’t buy anything that will go off quickly and you can’t freeze.
Bit of a list lover? Make a plan of the meals you’re going to have over the week. Don’t forget lunches. Work out what you need for these, and how much, and then don’t get side tracked by special offers.
Tip 5 - Organise your fridge in nine easy steps
Our nine top food storage tips below will help you organise your fridge and reduce related food waste.
1. The back - When you buy new food, put it at the back. It’s all too easy to keep blocking the older food with new purchases and then it never ever gets eaten.
2. Eye level - Keep items that will go off quickly near the front and at eye-line level so you see them every time you open the door and then you won’t forget it’s there.
3. Bottom drawer - Put condiments and sauces here. All too often we put veg in the bottom drawer and it’s a case of out of sight, out of mind.
4. Bottom shelf - Keep meats well wrapped on the bottom shelf. Anything accidental drips won't contaminate the rest of your food. It’s also the coldest place in the fridge.
5. Top shelf - Dairy products should be on the top shelf. The temperate up there is the most consistent so the food will last longer.
6. Separate fruit and veg - Some fruits (like apples, stone fruits, kiwis, mangoes and pears) give off ethylene which makes vegetables go off quicker.
7. Cheese - Cheese lasts best when wrapped in cheese paper. It does well in waxed paper or parchment paper too. This lets it breathe a little bit without drying out.
8. Counter top - Garlic, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, bananas and citrus don’t like being in the fridge. Keep them cool in a cupboard or on the counter.
9. Bread - Bread goes stale in the fridge. But it lasts for a long time in the freezer. Give the loaf a little shake before you freeze, it’ll help to separate the slices.
Tip 6 - Just freeze it
You can put almost anything in your freezer - including milk, herbs, bananas, eggs and wine. Clearly label your leftovers with dates and what it is. Keep separate shelves for sweet, meat and savoury.
Milk - Freeze milk as soon as soon possible after buying it. If it's already opened you can freeze it for up to four weeks, just ensure it's frozen before its 'use by' date.
Herbs - Put them in an ice cube tray, cover them in olive oil and freeze them. You can then pop them into sauces, soups and curries whenever you want.
Bananas - You can freeze them peeled or with their skin on. They're perfect for making smoothies or healthy ice cream.
Eggs - Eggs can last up to a year - just make sure you label them. Either whisk them and pour into ice cube trays or separate the yolks and whites and freeze separately.
Wine - Pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. It’s perfect for adding to sauces, stews and risottos.
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