9 Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste
The latest Consumer Pulse Report from Australian consumer advocacy group Choice reveals that Aussies are greatly concerned about the rising cost of groceries.
So with cost of living pressures increasing, and grocery bills rising, there’s never been a better time to reduce your household’s food waste. These 9 easy ways to reduce food wastage will help you keep a lid on the rising cost of heading to the supermarket.
Image Credit: Food Tank
- Buy exactly what you need
We’ve all fallen for the grocery store sales trap. Sales seem exciting at the time, but if you know that you’re only going to be using 2 avocados, don’t buy 4 for the price of 2.
- Eat Leftovers
For some people, leftovers aren’t appetising. But leftovers can keep both your bank balance and your family’s appetite satisfied, if you choose the right meals. The key to leftovers is to choose foods that only get better over time as their flavours intensify: think curries, casseroles, soups and stews. Try out this guide for a little leftover inspiration.
- Store food properly
The way you choose to store food has a major impact on how long it remains fresh and okay for use. Food storage tips, like keeping your fridge’s internal temp at 5c or storing meat in sealed containers, can be the difference between wasting a chicken breast or turning it into a delicious butter chicken. Check out this great guide on food storage to help you get the most out of your weekly shopping trip.
- Monitor What you Throw Away
Spend one week monitoring what food you throw away and write down a list of what gets wasted. Are you throwing out half a tub of yoghurt every week? Maybe it’s time to downsize to a smaller tub. Spending one week doing this simple activity will provide you with a lot of perspective.
- Stop using the sniff test!
The sniff test has been the go to evaluation of suspicious food forever. Most people will err on the side of caution and throw out perfectly good food because they’re worried about giving their family or themselves food poisoning, purely based on the sniff test. Print out this guide for vegetables and this guide for meat products.
- Buy a Food Vacuum Sealer
You might have seen these handy little gadgets at your local department store or on a late night shopping channel. Food vacuum sealers have been known to store food for 3-5 times longer than their traditional counterparts. Food vacuum sealers will keep your food fresh for much longer, allowing you to take advantage of those specials without wastage.
- Introduce the FIFO system into your life
FIFO has long been the trusted system used by a majority of supermarkets and restaurants. FIFO stands for “first in, first out” when you are unpacking your weekly groceries move all the new produce to the back of your pantry or fridge and the older things to the front. By having the older products at the front, you will reduce the amount of products you let go to waste.
- Your freezer should be your best friend
There’s a lot more you can do with your freezer then just store meat. Did you know you can use your ice cube trays to make stock cubes from leftover stock? Freezing stews, casseroles, curries pasta sauce and many other meals can give you ready made dinner options, perfect for when you don’t feel like cooking.
- Take leftovers home
When eating out at restaurants our eyes tend to be bigger than our stomachs. Instead of letting your excess food go to waste, ask the waitress to prepare a takeaway container for you. Not only will this help reduce food waste, but it makes for a nice little lunch time treat.
The National Waste Report 2010 released by the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage, and the Arts estimated that 35% of Australia’s municipal waste comes from discarded food. By following these 9 simple tips you will not only save money, but you can help reduce landfill and protect our precious environment.