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Top tips to reduce food waste these holidays!

Top tips to reduce food waste these holidays!

Ecoware asked the experts from Love Food Hate Waste to give you their top tips for reducing food waste this Christmas.

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Ah Christmas, a time of giving, whanau and food - lots of food! All this food has its downsides of course – increased food bills and waste, for example. It is estimated that food waste DOUBLES in December, so here are our top tips to ensure you enjoy all that delicious Christmas fare without the guilt.

Be a planner

Last minute panicked trips to the supermarket are a sure way to increase your food bill and food waste. There you are whipping around the food aisles piling random food items into your trolley, accompanied by thoughts such as “I’ll need extra biscuits and cake and chips for unexpected guests” or “Wow that’s a good deal on these pineapples - I’ll take 4”.

To avoid this, sit down with a cuppa, pen and paper and plan out what meals you need to plan for over Christmas, and what ingredients you will need for these. Hopefully by now, you know where you will be spending Christmas and if you are visiting family what you are expected to bring, and how many people you are providing for.

Keep it simple

You don’t need to provide a ten-course meal to make it a celebration just focus on the family favourites that everyone likes. Have a think about past Christmas successes and failures - does that ham on the bone you buy every year end up going to waste or do you make it last a week and use up every scrap? Is kai moana more appreciated in your household than the turkey you insist on cooking every year because “It’s tradition”?

Whatever you choose, keep it simple, have one type of meat or seafood and then ensure there is something for the vegetarian/vegans as well.

Shop like a winner

So now you have planned out what meals you will need over Christmas and what you are cooking, make sure you have some idea of what you can do with leftovers. Do you have flour and yeast (or pre-made pizza bases) to make ham and pineapple pizza, for example? Do you have extra cream, some marshmallows and frozen berries so you can make Eton mess with leftover pavlova?

Secrets of a storage professional

It’s also a good idea to know how summer foods are best stored, to ensure you have room to keep them at their best. Check out this handy guide to making sure that delicious summer produce lasts as long as possible.

Share the love

If you are hosting Christmas for your family, make little care parcels out of leftovers or uneaten food and send your guests on their way with these so that they don’t need to cook on Boxing Day either.

Refrigerate and freeze

On the day make sure you put the food out on the table just before everyone is ready to eat. Once everyone has had enough, put it back in the fridge as quickly as possible to have the next day as leftovers or get it ready for the freezer if you are about to head straight off on holiday.  

Check out our handy guide for freezing leftovers here.