When isn't Food Waste Wasted food? When You Use It!
Supermarket giant Tesco has set up a new initiative to help its customers to waste less food by incorporating a 'Use Up Day' into your week, where you aim to use up bits and bobs of food you have in the fridge, cupboard or freezer, that otherwise may end up in the bin.
The supermarket estimates that you could save up to *£260 per year, so over £20 a month, or £5 a week!
Tesco state that your Use Up Day should ideally be just before your shopping day. To organise it, think about:
- When do you typically go for your main food shop? - What evening you're usually at home? - When everyone in your household is together?
Make it official (and fun)
Set a weekly reminder for your use-up day and get family, friends or housemates involved. This can be a reminder on your phone, on the calendar or family planner or even a note pinned to the fridge.
Take stock in the kitchen.
See what you can find by:
- Foraging in your fridge - Deep diving into your freezer - Raiding your cupboards
If you’re enjoying treats from the freezer as part of your Use Up Day, just remember to reheat cooked food until it’s piping hot.
The Tesco site gives you access to lots of yummy looking recipes that are ideal for making use of your excess food; plus also has links to loads of great ways to use up specific items in your pantry, such as recipes you can make using cans of baked beans, kidney beans, sweetcorn, canned tuna and plenty more.
Personally, I think it's also a great way to get kids involved in cooking at home. Get them involved in devising a recipe to use up excess food, and get them to help with cooking it; it's a great way to get kids thinking about food waste, cooking, nutrition and being able to come up with recipe ideas, and frankly, is something I believe should be taught in schools, as I amazed how many kids I've spoken to don't have the first clue about meal planning. It will help when they head to university and don't have to rely on beans on toast!
Adults can enjoy their own version of the classic TV show - Ready, Steady, Cook and devise a meal with what ingredients they have in front of them! It would make a fun dinner party! 🥳
The site is excellent and has some fabulous and helpful food waste prevention tips, guides on how to freeze and defrost food, and of course, some delicious and low-cost recipes!
If you have an excess amount of food that you know you aren't going to use up, look at listing your unwanted food on the Olio app others can take them off your hands, or for longer life products, donations to food banks are always very welcome. The Trussell Trust is a great option for food bank donations, and other food bank projects are also always looking for your help.
*This is based on Hellmann’s findings that a weekly Use-Up Day in a Canadian Trial cut food waste by a third each week. The Hellmann’s study is here. Based on the WRAP report from 2015 and adjusted for inflation, this is the amount a family (based on 3.8 people in a household) can save—actual saving, based on the annual cost of wasted food being approx. £800, and a third of this being saved each week, is £266.