Reducing Food Waste
Did you know that every home in Ireland throws away up to €700 worth of food on average? That is €700 every year thrown into the bin.
It all adds up, and that’s not counting the additional costs. For example, getting to the shops and back, electricity to store items in the fridge and so on. Everyone is looking for ways to reduce spending to try to make ends meet, and your food shop is no different. Reducing our waste reduces pressure on our budgets and has environmental benefits too.
We’ve put together a series of three blogs that look at:
In this blog, we’re going to focus on how to prevent food waste. By the end of reading this, you’ll be empowered to make smarter decisions with your food and reduce or even eliminate how much you throw away! Remember, in MABS, we believe in people being able to live, and that means not simply existing to pay bills. We believe in prioritising needs such as food, heat, and a roof over your head.
Top Tips to Prevent Food Waste
- Not sure how to store your food correctly to get the longest life out of it? Check out ie when you’re putting your groceries away to store food properly.
- Do a stock take before you go shopping, and move more perishable items or with upcoming expiry dates to the front of the fridge/cupboard to use them up first.
- Did you know that bread is one of the most thrown-out products? Save your bread from going mouldy by freezing it in portions for sandwiches and taking it out the night before or a few hours before you need it to let it defrost.
- Make a meal plan; we know we’ve said it before.
It doesn’t have to be exact; just sit down before you go shopping and decide what meals you want to make for the week ahead. Back to step 2 – check what you already have in the fridge and cupboards and write down the missing ingredients on your shopping list.
- Use your leftovers! If you’ve made too much, pop it in a lunch box to have the next day or put it in a freezer-safe container to use later. Make sure to add a sticker to identify what’s inside and the date it was made. Check out how to get started with batch cooking.
- Make soup from veg you don’t think you’ll use up – there’s another lunch solution sorted! Or pop it in the freezer like tip number 5.
- We got this tip from a follower on our Instagram to help with the weekly plan – rather than waiting to create a shopping list just before heading to the shops, keep a live list instead. In other words, if you or the kids finish something before the end of the week, then make a note of it on a family list on your mobile or put a list on the fridge. This reduces the need to make unplanned trips to the shops during the week, reducing your potential to overspend and throw out food from the overspend.
The below recipes can help to make the best use of your leftovers and create tasty meals and snacks. Let’s tuck in!
This recipe says it’s for kids, but we think it’s a great snack for adults and endlessly adaptable with ingredients you have leftover such as pasta sauce, tomatoes or peppers. Not to mention using up bread so it doesn’t get mouldy.
Nutty Veggie Couscous
Avoid waste and enjoy a filling snack by using leftover roasted vegetables in this couscous recipe. Makes a perfect side to lighter summer dishes or a good lunch. Add some feta or halloumi to complete the meal.
Bread and Butter Pudding
This simple bake is lovely with a cuppa, or have it for dessert instead, with custard or ice cream.
Thai Green Chicken Curry
This one-pot stew uses up all your roast dinner leftovers. Just add your leftover chicken at the end rather than the beginning. You can also try this using beef or turkey!
There you have it, we hope that you’ve got some ideas, and if we’ve missed something, let us know on our Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and we’ll share them too. All recipe inspiration is sourced from MABS 101 Square Meals Cookbook and Safe Food recipes.
To contact MABS, you can find your local office here, call the MABS Helpline on 0818 07 2000, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 8pm.
Note: We welcome references to and use of the content in this blog. However, please reference MABS and link said content if you choose to do so.