How to stop wasting bread

Abi Reid baking away,  reducing food waste across South Yorkshire
Abi Reid
12 May 2021

Bread is one of the most commonly wasted foods in the UK.

20 million slices end up in the bin every day! Most of this is because it wasn’t used up in time.

Here are my top tips on how to stop your bread from going to waste:

Toasted sliced white bread with heart cut outs

Watch the video above to hear my top tips on saving your bread from the bin!


Buy it

Make sure you buy the bread with the longest possible best before date. Remember that this date is only a guide, so use your best judgement before using it.

If you are buying fresh bread, look for the nice fresh loaves and not the ones that are starting to go hard and stale.


Store it

  • Keep bread and rolls in a fairly cool, dark and dry place. This could be a bread bin or cupboard
  • Clean your bread bin or cupboard regularly to get rid of mould spores
  • Keep it in its original packaging
  • After you open it fasten the bag with the tag, a bag clip or a peg
  • Wrap rolls in beeswax wraps to stop them from drying out
  • Keep the end crust on the loaf to keep the next slice fresh
  • Don’t store bread in the fridge, it will make it go stale quicker!
  • Once a loaf is opened, fold the wrapper under the loaf or re-tie it with the ‘best before’ tag or food clip.
  • You can freeze all varieties of bread! To make it easier to separate bread slices after freezing, tap your loaf gently on a work surface before you put it in the freezer
  • Make sure it is airtight before freezing to prevent freezer burn
  • Slices from a frozen loaf can be defrosted as needed or toasted straight from the freezer.
  • Make sandwiches on frozen bread and let them defrost during the morning or defrost the bread in the microwave (Make sure that there is no salad in them)
  • Make and freeze sandwiches (with no salad) then just take them out and put them in your buttie box each morning


Use it

  • Most bread and bakery products can be eaten up to two days to a week after the best before date. Give it a squeeze! If it feels and looks the same as when you bought it, it's good to eat. If any mould is present, do not use it.
  • Freshen up stale bread by putting it in the microwave for 10 seconds
  • For dry bread, sprinkle a little water on it and put it in the oven at 180°C for a few minutes to revive it
  • For slightly stale bread, one of my favourite ways to use it is in eggy bread or French toast. Simply whisk up an egg with a bit of milk (and sugar if you want it sweet), dip in your bread and fry it up. Top it with whatever you want
  • Pizza is another great way to use up stale bread. Simply top with sauce, cheese and other toppings and pop them in the oven
  • Bread and pudding can be made with bread and other bakery products such as croissants and pain au chocolat (Find a delicious recipe from the BBC here [])
  • You can make croutons to use as a salad or soup topper. Just chop up stale bread, drizzle in oil (add any herbs and seasoning you like too) and fry or bake it
  • Breadcrumbs can be made by blitzing stale or toasted bread in a food processor. If you don’t have one, simply toast your bread and grate it with a cheese grater. You can use these to thicken sauces, as a coating for nuggets and goujons or as a topper for pasta bakes and casseroles


Find out more about how you can prevent food waste here 




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