How can I reduce the amount of food I waste?
One of our worst habits is wasting food. Not huge amounts but enough to make me want to change our ways.
Sometimes it’s store-cupboard stuff that goes well out of date without us noticing – stuff we bought on 3-for-2 offers but got bored after the second one, or stuff we bought because we were, for example, eating a lot of nut roasts at that point but then we seemed to forget about them and developed a blind spot around their part of the shelf whenever we looked into the cupboard for something for dinner. Other times, it’s fridge stuff – salad mostly or half-eaten packs of cheese – or stuff that was once store-cupboard but is now fridge stuff: partially used cans of beans or custard that turn before we can use the second half.
We’re not overly fussy eaters and generally regard best before and use by dates as guidelines – if it smells alright and looks alright, we’ll eat it. I’m also happy making soup, chillis and curries out of misc things that need eating, and we’ve tried to cut down the very short-life veg we buy: we’re going to grow pick-and-come-again lettuces in our new-house sun-porch and realised that in many places a pickled pepper or the like will serve just as well as fresh. But I still think there is more we could be doing.
What do you do to make sure you don’t waste food? Do you only buy for a couple of meals at a time? Do you plan weekly menus that you stick to? Do you have procedures to make sure you use up cupboard items in a timely manner? Love to hear your thoughts and ideas.