As coronavirus restrictions begin to ease across the UK, a lot of us are starting to head out again for meals and drinks with friends, family and loved ones. It’s a welcome change, of course, but what happens when we start forgetting about the food that’s at home? By swerving home-cooked food for more delectable choices in pubs, bars or restaurants, it’s not just your bank account that could be taking the brunt of it. The environment may be affected, too. Below, we walk you through six smart, easy and zero-fuss ways to start reducing food waste at home. Food for thought, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Start a Meal Diary
If your social calendar is starting to get a little more populated, use it as a template for planning out the food you need for the week. If you’re spending Friday and Saturday evenings with friends or family, for example, you’ll know that you only need to shop for your other meals around the week. Sometimes it makes sense to work smarter, not harder.
Your Freezer Is Your Friend
Got into a nasty habit of binning refrigerated food that’s past its use-by date? Nix the habit before it happens again by putting items of your food shop that aren’t fresh vegetables — especially meats including beef, fish and chicken — straight into the freezer. Using your new meal diary (hint, hint), you’ll know when you’ll need to defrost each item ahead of the day’s meals. Similarly, freezing fruit such as raspberries, blueberries and strawberries is a smart move — not just to reduce food waste, but to make smoothies and protein shakes thicker and less watery.
Go Big at Home
Sometimes, to reduce food waste, you have to go all in. Rather than cooking one or two portions-worth of food, punch it up to five or six. Chances are, you’ll use all of the ingredients that you intended to use originally and, with our aforementioned point about befriending your freezer, freeze the portions that you won’t eat over the next few days. Next time you’re caught short, you can defrost your ready-to-eat, home-made meal. Who needs delivery apps, anyway?
Natural Fitness Food
Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of food waste is time. Or, in fact, a lack of it. If you regularly find yourself rushing around from virtual meeting to virtual meeting, your meals can take a hit. If this sounds like you, it’s worth considering investing in healthy, prepared and made-to-order meals from Natural Fitness Food. They’re packed with flavour, match your goals and come with plant-based and vegetarian options. Because healthy food doesn’t have to be boring.
Use the ‘FIFO’ Method
While we can’t claim credit for this one, the ‘FIFO’ — first in, first out — method is a surefire way of making sure you stick to your zero-waste goals. A useful way to organise your groceries at home, ‘FIFO’ ensures that you put your freshest ingredients at the back of your cupboards and your fridge and use the ingredients on the front row, closest to their use-by date, first. It works just as well with tinned food as it does with fresh produce. There’s a reason why restaurants do it, after all.
Read Your Labels
It’s an obvious one, but it’s worth repeating. Make sure you read the labels on the packaging that your food is contained in. Bread, for example, is best kept in a dark place instead of the fridge, as well as bananas, onions and potatoes. Master this habit and your food will last much longer.