Waste not, want not by using leftovers and more vegetables

It’s a well-known fact that the UK wastes too much food – indeed, government estimates suggest that as much as a third of all food bought in this country ends up in the bin.

Not only is this bad for the environment, it’s bad for your purse too – after all, you wouldn’t simply take out a few fivers each week and throw them away, so why do it via your shopping trips?

Sarah Giles, the editor of BBC food magazine Easy Cook, said it’s easy to stretch your food budget further and reduce waste by using leftover food to make extra meals and opting for more veggie dishes instead of meat, just like they did during World War II.

“Aim to make every meal you cook stretch a bit further – use leftovers the next day, either in packed lunch boxes or as the basis for your next evening meal,” she urged.

For example, if you have made a meat dish and find you have some left, keep it in an airtight container and add ingredients such as lentils, vegetables and beans to it the next day to make a nutritious new meal.

You could find that batch-cooking and then freezing portions cuts down on waste and expenditure too, Sarah said.

Swapping meat for a vegetable dish at least once a week might also help you to save food – for instance, how many times have you bought a joint of beef and then thrown half of it away?

By using vegetables that you’ve got in your freezer or small amounts you can pick up from your local greengrocer instead, you’re less likely to have anything left.

If you’re concerned that you may be missing out on nutrients or feeling full by forgoing meat a couple of times each week, then don’t be.

Sue Dieffenbach, a nutritional consultant, told Savvy Miss that lots of storecupboard staples contain plenty of protein and women only need around 45 grams of it a day, which can be obtained easily from vegetables, fruit and pulses.

If you do employ some of these methods to become more green in your kitchen, you could not only save cash but be rewarded by a sense of achievement.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall told the Daily Mail: “There’s enormous satisfaction to be had from getting the most out of every ingredient, coming up with ingenious ways to serve leftovers and finding new recipes to use up a glut of fruit or veg.”

There certainly is, so challenge yourself and your family to see if you can reduce your kitchen waste and enjoy some exciting new meals!