At Village Greens we love using as much as we can and reducing the amount of waste we produce. Here are our top tips to help you do the same. you never know you may save some money too ...
1. Get Organised
Planning is key to making sure you don’t waste food. Start each week with a plan of the meals you are going to cook and eat during that week. Check your fridge and cupboards and make a list of what you need.
2. Store your food correctly
Try to buy your root vegetables loose to avoid plastic packaging which will cause sweating. Keep them in a cool dark place (they don’t need to be in the fridge), check them occasionally and remove anything which starts to decay. Make sure food in the fridge and cupboards is used in rotation. Check the sell by dates and keep the older things at the front. For store cupboard products always check the dates before you buy.
3. To buy in bulk or not?
Buying in bulk can often save a lot of money and as long as you have the space means you don’t have to make wasted trips to restock. Items sold in hoppers at Village Greens (pumpkin seeds, porridge oats etc) are great for this purpose. Take your own plastic container (so you know if fits in your cupboard) but don’t forget to weigh it first.
3. Freeze it!
Many food items can be frozen to extend their life so check it out before throwing something away. I like to freeze excess herbs in icecube trays so they can be added to cooking directly from the freezer.
4. Cook it!
If your fruit and vegetables have seen better days, don’t just throw them away. Make a soup or stew your fruit. These items will keep for a few days in the fridge or you can freeze them to extend life even further. Frozen bananas make great ice cream. Chop them, freeze them and then whizz in a food processor. Village Greens often sells on old stock of fruit and vegetables at reduced prices so get creative and save some money.
5. Juice It!
Make a juice or smoothie, experiment with new flavour combinations. Carrot, beetroot, spinach and ginger is a favourite for the runner in our household.
6. Compost it!
If the food is really not edible then consider buying a compost bin. Having your own compost is great for the garden but if you don’t have space or it’s not practical just make sure you use the caddy provided by your local council and dispose of any food waste in the correct bin.
7. Use common sense
Dates on food are provided to keep us healthy and make sure we don’t contract anything nasty but in many cases they are there for guidance to simply to indicate when food might not be of the best taste or quality. If a non-perishable looks and smells OK it’s more than likely OK for consumption.