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 cost to you of getting the waste collected. 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 How to save by creating a food menu and a shopping list, Getting ready with tips on preparing your budget, and finally, tips on How to save when at the shop.
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 having to exist below the poverty line. We believe in prioritising needs such as food, heat, and a roof over your head.
Keep reading to learn more.
Top Tips to Prevent Food Waste
- Not sure how to store your food correctly to get the longest life out of it? Check out stopfoodwaste.ie when you’re putting your groceries away to store food properly.
- Do a stock take before you go shopping, 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 too rigid; just sit down before you go shopping and decide what meals you want to make for the week ahead. 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 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.
The below recipes can help to make the best use of your leftovers and create tasty meals and snacks. Let’s tuck in!
Make this soup recipe your own using up any bits and bobs you have. Make a tomatoey soup with leftover veg, then finish it with flavourful toppings, such as garlic, parsley and chilli flakes.
Sweet Potato Hummus
Avoid waste and enjoy a filling snack by using leftover sweet potatoes in this hummus recipe – it has a spicy kick thanks to smoked paprika and chilli flakes.
This simple bake is lovely with a cuppa or have it for dessert instead, with custard or ice cream.
Leftover Turkey Casserole
This one-pot stew uses up all your roast dinner leftovers in one go and has a great honey mustard tang. You can also try this using beef or chicken!
The perfect way to use up any mincemeat or vegetables – a delicious, family favourite too!
Spicy Potato Wedges
Chop, chop, chop those potatoes. The perfect tasty twist on potatoes that can be served with homemade mince burgers! Quick to make and cook.
Do you have vegetables and potatoes that are about to expire? Let’s turn them Spanish! This tasty and easy to make recipe is the perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner. Less than 15 minutes of cooking time!
Roasted Vegetable Pasta
One of our MABS favourites…pasta! An easy take on a normally plain pasta dish by sticking your pasta and veg in the oven to enjoy even more flavour!
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 BBC Good Food Leftover 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, or on WhatsApp 086 035 3141.