This year Zero Food Waste week was 2nd – 8th September and not only did my family get involved but also Mommy Emu follows on Facebook also got involved too.
As a family i thought we would find this week challenging as we usually end up with quit a lot of food waste each week. (much more than I would ever like us to have) Before the start of the we all sat down for a family meeting and I explained all about zero waste week and how as a family we were going to challenge our selves to reduce our total food waste.
Our youngest two children were really excited but our teenager just thought Mum was off her rocker and another hippy thing she is going through. (I do love the way our teenager see’s me some times)
For us to succeed on reducing our food waste it had to start with the weeks menus, shopping list and food diary. (you can download a Zero Waste Food Diary from HERE.
So what was our experience during Zero Food Waste Week
- Normally I spend any were between £60 and £100 on our shopping bill for 5 people. But by carefully planning the meals for each night our food bill was reduced to £45.36 which is a massive saving.
- We reduced our portion sizes and at the end of each meal there was no food left on anyone’s plates. Everyone was full and not looking for seconds. (Seconds is always better than filling up a plate with food when quarter of it ends up in the waste)
- Reusing left overs meant that we had a variety of different tasty meals that did not cost us the earth to cook.
- Our only food waste was compost-able (vegetable pealing’s, egg shells etc..) or recyclable (food packaging)
Although this eye opening week has finished in our house EVERY WEEK is now a zero food waste week.
Over on Mommy Emu Facebook page we looked at different ways to help reduce our food waste and here are the 7 tips we looked at through out Zero Food Waste Week.
Freeze chopped green onions in recycled empty water bottles and shake out the right amount you need then return the left over green onions in the freezer.
This is a great way to not waste any green onions as you usually can only buy them in bunches and most recipes only ever use 2 or 3 stalks at a time.
Tip – Dry your green onions before chopping and freezing them, to save the onions getting freezer burn.
To stop salad leaves from wilting in the fridge separate all the salad leaves and place then in a bowl of cold water and then into fridge. This will keep your salad leaves lovely and fresh for up to 10 day.
No more soggy salad leaves left in the fridge after you have only used half of the salad leaves up for one meal or a couple of salad leaves for a good old door stop sandwich.
A great way to use a stale loaf of bread is to make croutons!
Cut up into blocks, fry up for a minute or so with some butter and oil and sprinkle on seasoning of choice, I find garlic salt and Italian herbs is really nice.
Then toast in the oven!
These can be frozen and taken out as needed.
Keep leftovers in your line of sight! (out of sight out of mind) For example place your leftovers on the top self of your fridge near the front or write a list of the leftovers on a whiteboard stuck to your fridge. These valuable left overs are easily forgotten when pushed to the back of the fridge or placed on the bottom self.
Left over food does not only have to end up in the fridge, there are lots of things that can be frozen which you may have never thought of before.
Such as potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, unbaked bread, raw egg whites and yolks freeze well, as do cooked egg yolk.
For more information on what different food you can freeze please visit http://www.helpwithcooking.com/food-storage/foods-freeze-well.html
As Autumn is heading our way and we start to think about feeding the birds in our garden we can add some of our kitchen scraps to the bird table. These range from cooking fat, (lard, suet) rice, cereals and stale bread.
To find out more which kitchen scrapes we can feed our garden birds with please visit
Are you like me who sometimes cooks too much dinner? I do it on a regular bases because I am always forgetting if I am feeding 4 people or 5. (Is our teenage son home for dinner or not?)
If you are there is a fantastic charity called the Casserole Club. They connect people who like to cook and are happy to share an extra portion of a delicious home cooked meal, with older neighbors living close by who could really benefit from a hot cooked meal.
The Casserole Club is spreading all over the UK, to find out more information and if they are working in your area please visit http://www.casseroleclub.com
What great tips do you use on cutting down the food waste in your home?