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Top tips for reducing your food waste this Christmas

Bins, recycling and waste

07 December 2023

Snowman putting food waste in a bin

Around a quarter of food bought in the UK goes to waste, costing the average family about £700 a year. By reducing the amount of food we throw away, we can save money and reduce our carbon footprint.

That's why our waste and recycling team has put together some top tips to help you reduce food waste and save money over the Christmas and New Year period.

Planning is key:

  • Planning meals in advance, checking what food you have in the kitchen and writing a shopping list means you can avoid buying food that won’t get used.
  • Meal planning and cooking at home can be better for your health too, as you can control the ingredients that you use (less salt, less sugar etc)

The difference between use-by and best-before dates:

  • Food is often safe to eat after its best-before so long as it passes the sight and smell test.
  • Use-by dates are a safety measure, so be more careful.

Making good use of your freezer:

  • Freezing food that is close to its use-by date means you can keep it for longer.
  • Most foods freeze well, except for egg-based sauces and high water content vegetables.
  • Foods should be allowed to cool before freezing and stored in a container or wrapped up to prevent freezer burn.
  • Rice can be frozen so long as it is cooled quickly and frozen within an hour of cooking.

Using your leftovers:

  • Leftover food can be kept in the fridge in a container and eaten another day or used to make another dish.
  • As a general rule, leftovers stored in the fridge are ok to eat within 3 or 4 days.
  • Visit the Love Food Hate Waste or BBC Good Food websites to find recipe ideas for your leftovers.

Batch cooking meals:

  • Cooking double can reduce the amount of ingredients left over that might need to be thrown away.
  • Batch cooking also saves time cooking and buying in bulk could save you money.
  • Some people will batch cook certain base ingredients that can be incorporated into different meals throughout the week.

Naturally, some food is going to end up going to waste. Rather than throwing it away into the general waste, it can be recycled and turned into compost or green energy. You can order food recycling bins for free.

Find out more information about waste and recycling collections this Christmas

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