Food poverty is in the headlines a lot recently which is great because people need to be aware that there are families in you town and may be your street that are suffering from food poverty. But you would never know to look at them.
I know it’s really hard to believe that in 2014 there are families that don’t have enough money to buy food for one meal a day yet alone enough food for a week. I know from first hand what food poverty is like and how it feels because 2 years ago my husband had a tumour on his wrist and as a result was paid statutory sick pay for 6 weeks. Which meant our weekly housekeeping money went from £150 a week to £68. As you can imagine having to pay bills and buy food for a family of 5 on £68 the numbers don’t add up. So we fed our kids as much as a healthy meal we could afford and my husband and I lived on porridge.
We were lucky because we had family and friends to help us during such a difficult time and my husband was able to recover and return to work. (Which many families don’t have that sort of support) But still the experience has never left me and changed the way look at food in our house.
Not only should we not waste food to save money but food is the most precious thing money can buy. You just don’t know if food poverty might come knocking on your door at any time!
Reducing food waste is easy and soon becomes a habit, rather than a extra thing to think about.
- Plan meals ahead (just because you put pasta bake next to Monday does not mean you have to eat pasta bake on monday) this enables you to make sure you buy enough food to create a meal for each day of the week.
- Write a shopping list including the exact of every item of food you need. For example how many carrots or pints of milk you will need for the week.
- Don’t shop on a empty tummy because you will end up buying food you don’t need as well as the food thats on your list.
- Take a calculator with you so you can add up everything as you go around, making sure you don’t over spend.
- Take the exact amount of cash you have budgeted for food with you while shopping. So there is no way you can over spend. (For get the bank or credit card. Cash is best)
- Think about shopping in you local fruit and vegetable shop or butchers. Because you can buy fruit and vegetables loose (saving waste and money) or the butchers can advise you on cheaper cuts of meat and the right amount of meat you need for the amount of mouths you have to feed.
- Blanch and freeze your veg to stop wastage of vegetables.
We all have left over’s after our lovely meals have been enjoyed and eaten by our families, which often get thrown away, with the average household putting over £500 worth of edible food in the bin every year! Which to me is a lot of money I can not afford to throw away.
But a simple meal can be reused and reinvented to create nearly a weeks worth of meals. For example
- Sunday Roast Chicken – Monday chicken Risotto
- Tuesday – chicken curry
- Wednesday – Bubble and squeak (left over roast dinner vegetables)
- Thursday – chicken soup
- Chicken stock – Place the chicken carcass in the slow cooker with 2 large onions chopped in half and fill half full of water. After a few hours of cooking you have chicken stock ready to jar up and pop in the freezer.
- Gravy – Basic pie (reheat gravy and pour over cooked vegetables, then top with mash potato and cheese)
I have found a fantastic book full of recipes and ideas on how to reuse and reinvented your food waste covering nearly every meal you can think of. In my house I refer to this book as the food waste bible and use that much that the cover is held together by sellotape.
Here is a great film trailer by The Clean Bin Project called Just Eat It called A food waste story, which gives us all food for thought.
I would love to hear your food waste tips that I can implement into my home.