Here in the UK, we throw away over 7 million times tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, and more than half of this is food and drink we could’ve eaten. If we stop wasting this food, the carbon dioxide saved would be equivalent of taking 1 in 4 cars off the road.
Not only does this cost the planet, it costs our wallets too! Did you know that food waste costs the average Londoner £200 a year, rising to £700 for a family with children? Think about how much you could save if you started to reduce your food waste. Enough for a family holiday…
The best way to reduce the amount of food your binning it to befriend your freezer. Here are some top tips to help you get into the swing of things:
Don’t fear use-by dates
It’s an old wives tale that you need to freeze food on the day you buy it – you can freeze food up until the use by date. The freezer acts as a pause button, putting the bacteria that cause your food to “go off” into hibernation – and it even retains all the nutrients. So, if you’re clearing out your fridge, head for the freezer instead of the bin.
Freezing is a piece of cake
Breads and cakes are amongst the food we waste the most here in the UK, but they can also be frozen! If you’re struggling to eat your loaf of bread before it goes off, why not stick it in the freezer and toast it straight from frozen?
Pssst… you can’t freeze fat-free cakes or sponges, cakes made with single or soured cream (the cream can separate in the freezer), or any pastry that has been already been frozen.
Go bananas for frozen fruit!
Did you know that you can freeze fruit to help make it last that bit longer?
We’ve got a top hack on how to use your frozen fruit. To make a simple, super-healthy banana ice-cream, all you need to do is peel your bananas, wrap them in cling film and pop them in the freezer. Simply take them out, allow them to soften for 20 minutes, then put them into a food processor and voila!
Left-over sauce? No worries!
If you’ve over-estimated how much sauce you need for your pasta or rice, you can freeze this to use on a later date. Plus, if you’re making a curry, spaghetti bolognese or chilli con carne, why not save the waste and yourself money by making a bigger batch? Freeze it in individual portions so it’s easier to defrost.
Save the leftovers from your Sunday Roast…
If your eyes turned out to be bigger than your belly for your roast dinner, it’s not just uncooked meat that can be frozen. To freeze cooked meat, just trim off any excess fat before freezing and keep it for a later date.
We heard it through the grapevine…
Got some grapes that need eating up? You can freeze them! They make a great easy snack, or alternatively, why not use them as ice cubes? They work especially well in drinks, keeping them chilled without making them watery.
Your own fro-yo
If your yogurt is approaching its use by date, save yourself the cost of an expensive frozen yogurt by popping your yogurt in the freezer! Not only have you saved yourself food waste, you’ve also made a super-easy healthy snack.
Have you got freezer tips of your own? Use the #SlimYourBin on Twitter to share them with us and your fellow residents.