10 tips to reduce food waste and save money

By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach

Some of you may remember the mantra:

Buy Fresh - Shop Local - Buy Less - Eat Less - Weigh Less - Waste Less

It's our philosophy when it comes to fresh food, and while the words "buy less might seem strange coming from people whose livelihood is to sell food, nobody likes to see good food going to waste.

Greengrocers buy fresh produce from the wholesale markets almost daily to ensure the produce they sell is fresh and little is wasted. It makes commercial sense to waste as little as possible but it also makes sense for the welfare of the environment. Wasting food wastes water, energy and natural resources. When we throw food out it end up in landfill and breaks down to produce methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide.

Research from Love Food Hate Waste found that in NSW people waste an average of $6.60 worth of fresh produce each week, which equates to about $343.20 a year. Just think what you could do with that money or, for that matter, what you could do for someone else. Take a quick look at the World Vision website and you'll see that $340 buys 4 fruit trees ($140) + 4 fish farms ($108) + 5 packs of fast growing seeds ($50) + 4 chickens ( $40) for suffering communities across the world. That contribution will help feed families who might otherwise starve for years!

Obviously there is certain unavoidable fresh food waste such as pineapple skins, onion and orange peel but most of the rest is about proper management.

Here are out top ten tips on how you can reduce food waste

  • Do a pantry and fridge audit before shopping so you don't double up with food you already have.

  • Plan your meals in advance and make a shopping list. Buy only what you need.

  • Shop more frequently and instead of trying to buy for the whole week, buy 1 or 2 days ahead of time

  • Shop at your local greengrocer, butcher and fish shop to avoid impulse buying as a result of clever marketing and product placement in supermarkets.

  • Stock up on quality storage containers with airtight lids to store your leftovers

  • Store leafy greens in large plastic snap lock bags in the crisper section of your fridge

  • Do like the greengrocers do and instead of throwing out whole fruit, cut off the bruised bits and make a delicious fresh fruit salad.

  • Invest in a high speed blender to make fruit and veggie smoothies and salsas from produce that is not at its crisp freshest best.

  • Be creative with leftovers. Cooked veggies are delicious in frittatas, omelettes, sandwiches and fresh spring rolls.

  • Use your freezer properly. Put food in it, accurately name and date what it is and take it out to use again within 3 months.

    If you have an clever tips to help reduce food waste - log on and tell us about them.

    Thinking about an altruistic Christmas? Visit
    world vision Christmas gifts

    For more information on food waste visit lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au


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