Food waste goes up significantly around Christmas time, with 2 million turkeys and 5 million Christmas puddings getting binned in the UK alone!
But with bit of planning and preparation, it is possible to not throw away any food – here are our top tips…
Don’t break the bank
It’s easy to overbuy for the Christmas period, meaning that food can end up going to waste. To help you buy and prepare the right amount of food, check out these off-the-shelf Christmas dinner shopping lists and meal plans, complete with recipes for three course meals for 2, 4 and 6 people – including a vegetarian alternative.
Christmas dinner doesn’t have to cost the earth – see here for chef Jack Monroe’s three course Christmas dinner at £2.50 per head and here for her other thrifty Christmas recipes.
Use up Christmas dinner leftovers
Boxing day hash is a quick way to use up leftover meat, stuffing and gravy, as is turkey and cranberry pie. You can also throw in any leftover vegetables for extra flavour, or remove the meat for a vegetarian alternative.
Another great way to use up any savoury leftovers is to mash them up and turn them into pasties (these can also be frozen for later use).
Get fridge and freezer savvy
In the lead up to Christmas try to use up food in the fridge and freezer so you have space to store leftovers come Christmas day.
Leftovers will last longest if stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Cooked meat stored this way will be safe to eat for 3-4 days (if reheating, make sure that it gets piping hot) and veg for up to 7 days.
If your fridge is too warm, food will go off more quickly. It’s best to keep your fridge between 0°C and 4°C.
Almost any food can be frozen, including cooked meat and veg, stuffing, bread, gravy (in ice cube trays), cakes and puddings. It’s a good idea to divide them into manageable portions first.