5 (simple) tips to reduce food waste
Shopping when you're hungry?
Not using or sticking to a shopping list?
Opting for take-away instead of cooking the food you have at home?
Not checking the pantry or fridge before you leave the house to go shopping?Interestingly, these are the most common contributors to the massive $8 billion of edible food we waste EVERY, SINGLE, YEAR. So what does $8 billion of edible food look like? After doing some research and shaking up a few old habits in our home, we wanted to share with you the simplest tips that have proven to work. Our aim is to help you reduce food waste in your home too....we're all in this together!
5 tips to reduce food waste
Shopping ListLet's be honest, your mobile phone is never too far away from you. So instead of writing your weekly shopping list on that loose piece of paper, grab your phone and use one of the hundreds of helpful apps to build your list throughout the week. This way you'll always have your shopping list on you & never again have to worry about leaving that piece of paper on the kitchen bench. Having a shopping list keeps you on track, helping to avoid buying products you just don't need (or are tempted by....yes chocolate I'm talking to you!). Oh and remember to double check your fridge before stepping out of the house to make sure you don't double up on ingredients. Below are 3 apps we've found to be useful (& free):
Trolley Saver - Automatically links your shopping list to supermarket catalogue specials to help save you $$
Bring! - A simplified shopping list for everyone in the household
Buy me a pie - Works across multiple devices & has a colour coded system
Expiry DatesI suspect this question is a common dilemma in most households. Is it safe to still eat food that's beyond the use by or best before date? First things first, let's get familiar with each term: Use By - Foods that must be eaten before a certain time for health or safety reasons should be marked with a use by date. Best Before - You can still eat foods for a period of time after the best before date has passed as they should be safe, but have lost some quality (as long as they've been stored appropriately). Additionally, if the best before date is two or more years down the track, the code does not require that the best before date to be printed on the packaging. It's a question of quality vs safety. Eggs seem to be the biggest culprit in our home, forever posing the should we or shouldn't we eat them question? So here's what I've found out. Eggs can be stored for up to 6 weeks if kept in their carton in the fridge. Use the best before date as a guide, however if you're unsure, check out the helpful tip below. Bonus tip: A simple test for egg freshness is to gently place them in a bowl of water. Fresh eggs will stay at the bottom while older eggs float. Regardless of whether an item is classified Use By or Best Before, correct storage is the key to retain quality and achieve optimum shelf life.
Storage of fruit & vegDo you store your asparagus in the fridge? Or leave your avocados out on the counter too long? Bah Bow (that's the sound of an incorrect buzzer). Properly storing your fresh produce is another simple way to reduce food waste within the home. Check out the below video for some great advice: Bonus tip: Re-organise fridge/pantry & place place new items at the back of the shelf, bringing older items forward to ensure these are used first.
LeftoversLeftover recipes are a lifesaver when using up that half chopped carrot, zucchini or last handful of baby spinach sitting in the fridge . You'll be thankful later too with a freezer full of ready to go meals. With the below pantry essentials, you can pull together a handful of quick & easy leftover dinners:
Bottles of passata and/or tinned tomatoes
Tinned chickpeas, kidney beans
Canned coconut milk
Classic spices like garam masala, turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, smoked paprika
Italian dried herbs and chilli flakes
Curry paste (Indian)
Portions of bacon rashers in the freezer
Veggie or Chicken Stock
ButterUsing the above, here are some quick & easy left over recipe ideas:
Italian veggie pasta - Use the passata or tinned tomatoes, onion, garlic, dried herbs, chilli flakes, leftover veggies like zucchini, kale, capsicum, mushrooms, carrots. Add in some diced smokey bacon if you want too.
Omelette - Whisk together those last few eggs & whip up an omelette filled with veggies and your favourite cheese
Herb butter - Chop leftover herbs and mix into some softened butter. Place the herb butter into the centre of a piece of plastic wrap, roll into a cylinder shape, secure at ends and refrigerate. Slice into discs and serve over a piece of steak or steamed green veggies.
Indian Veggie curry - Another handy meal using a bottle of passata or tinned tomatoes, stock or coconut milk is an Indian veggie curry. Use classic Indian dried spices or a spoonful of curry paste. Throw in veggies like pumpkin, potato, cauliflower, spinach, capsicum, green beans, broccoli, onion and a can of chickpeas.
Veggie Mexican Stew - Yup, using that incredible handy bottle or passata or tinned tomatoes again, you can create a heart warming mexi bowl. Use the ground cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, kidney beans, onion and left over veggies like capsicum, corn, baby spinach, zucchini & pumpkin.