Cut waste and weekly shopping bills

Rebecca Wilson, passionate about recycling across South Yorkshire
Rebecca Wilson
14 Aug 2023

With food prices still on the rise everyone is looking for ways to reduce their weekly shopping bill.

Food bowl containing a lunch using leftover food

Did you know that around 30% of our general waste is made up of food waste? Approximately 60% of this is avoidable and could have been eaten or drunk if used up in time – we could all save £720 a year by reducing our food waste.

We’ve come up with some handy tips to help lower costs.

Refilling - more and more high street brands and companies are introducing refill stations and refill options whether it is make-up, toiletries, cleaning products or food.  Check out which shops have refill stations in your area – the cost of refill products is generally cheaper than pre-package items.

Make a meal plan – Try and have a rough idea of what you want to make in the week ahead. You can create a shopping list from this plan and then only pick up what you need. Stick to the list! That means there is less chance of buying unnecessary items.

Shop smart – Planning is the best way to save money on the weekly shop while cutting waste and helping the planet.  When making a meal plan, check your cupboards! Knowing what you already have avoids you buying the same thing twice. Consider foods which are long lasting and nutritious such as tins of beans, dried foods like oats, whole grains and frozen fruit and vegetables. These foods work well with many meals and are unlikely to go out of date after a few weeks in the cupboard.

Freeze it - Frozen fruit and vegetables are often cheaper, more readily available all year round and last much longer.  If fresh food is getting past its best, chop it up and put it in the freezer. Freezing is one of the best ways to reduce waste and make the most of your leftovers.

Shop seasonally – Buying food in season when it is plentiful and readily available can help to reduce shopping bills. Because it is fresh it often lasts longer once you get it home to the fridge.

Make the most of what you’ve got!  - Before setting out for a shop have a look at the ingredients you already have in the fridge or cupboards and check out any recipe ideas for how to use them up. Remember, leftovers are made up of fabulous food that you have bought and made into great meals so why wouldn't you use them up.

Savvy storage - The way we store food has the potential to extend its useable lifespan massively. For example, keep dried goods like pasta, cereal and crisps airtight to make them last longer, freeze foods in handy portions, check storage instructions on food - lots of packaging is specially designed to make food last longer.



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