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Reducing your food waste

kitchen counter and food storage jarsPutting your food away in all the right places and storing it correctly will keep it fresher for longer - meaning more time for you to use it in delicious meals and less ending up being wasted. 

Here are our top tips for storing your food to reduce food waste:

The fridge

The supermarket or grocers gives you a clear indication of where products should be stored. If it's in the fridge in the shop, then that's where it should go at home.

  • The first thing to do when you start to unpack your shopping is check the fridge temperature - take a quick look at your fridge temperature and check it's below 5°C as this helps to stop your food going off so quickly.
  • Ready-to-eat foods like yogurts, spreads, cheeses and cooked meats should always go on the top and middle shelves.
  • Anything that needs to be cooked like raw meat and fish should be placed on the bottom shelves.
  • Most of us have a salad drawer and that is the best place to store your veggies and fruit as it will stop them from drying out and keep them crunchy. 
  • Condiments are best kept in the fridge door as they can cope with the fluctuating temperature of the door being opened and closed.  
  • Keep fresh herbs in jam jar vases in the fridge to stop them from wilting so quickly. 
  • Root veg like carrots and citrus fruits such as lemons and limes like to be completely submerged in water in the fridge. This keeps them juicy and fresh for weeks longer than when stored loose. 

Watch this clip below to find out more about optimising your fridge:

The freezer

Your freezer is your best friend when it comes to fighting food waste in your home. There are so many things you can freeze to extend their shelf life. Find out what you can freeze.

  • Check labels to see when use-by dates are and also if the item is freezable. It's easy to take an item out of the freezer and let it defrost in the fridge overnight, rather than getting to the end of the week and realising that pack of salmon fillets is destined for the food bin..
  • Make toast not waste - pop a loaf of bread in the freezer when you get home from shopping to help it last longer. You can simply toast a slice straight from the freezer for a tasty snack or make a sandwich with the frozen bread and it will be defrosted and lovely by lunchtime!
  • Freeze your leftovers once they have cooled after cooking and you'll be sorted for an easy meal in the future! Did you know you can use glass jars for freezing? Just leave a good inch or so at the top of the jar to allow the food to expand when frozen.  

Shelves and cupboards 

Have a regular organise and sort out of your dry goods cupboards. Organising your cupboard so that you can easily find items and items don't get lost at the back of the cupboard is essential to reducing waste at home. 

  • When you're stacking your shelves, group similar items together and put the things you use most often within easy reach.
  • Decanting bags of food into reused glass jars is a great way of keeping your dry goods fresher for longer and means you can easily see how much is left. 
  • It's always worth having a clear out from time to time as the least used items can some times fester and end up never being used. Why not try adding a recipe to use up those ingredients on your next weekly meal plan?
  • Potatoes like to be kept out of the fridge and in the dark. Using a reusable tote bag as a potato bag works perfectly for this.
Page updated: 19/10/2022 Page updated by: Waste Management

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