Streamline your shopping
- Check your fridge, freezer and cupboards – make use of what you already have
- Plan your meals – everything you buy should have a purpose
- Write a shopping list and stick to it
- Take a picture inside your fridge or cupboards to remind you not to buy a third jar of cranberry sauce
- Don’t be tempted by deals
- Remember shops are only closed for a day or two
- Buying back-up items? Choose tinned, longlife or frozen / freezable foods
Perfect your portions
Remember with more side dishes, you won’t need full portions of each. Go for a turkey crown or a chicken, if a whole turkey is too much. Guests are likely to bring something too – ask them not to if you have it covered.
Serve food buffet-style and ask guests to help themselves to reduce plate waste. And most important of all, cook what you like! If you hate sprouts (like me), don’t cook them. I’ll be having red cabbage instead.
Love your leftovers
A Waitrose survey1 found that the Boxing day Christmas dinner sandwich is the most popular way to use up leftovers. 39% of people will be making curry, 36% bubble and squeak and 31% a soup. Be creative – why not try a Christmas pizza!
- Remind guests to bring empty containers with them
- Use your freezer – you might not want turkey 3 days running, but give it a week and turkey curry will sound great
- Use leftovers that don’t freeze well first – like cream and roast veg
- Remember foods can be frozen right up until their ‘use by’ date
- Save freezer space by using sealable bags – don’t forget to label them
- Stay safe by following this Christmas guidance from the Food Standards Agency
- Offer extra food to neighbours, friends, food banks or on freegle or OLIO
Even after you have turned all your peelings and meat bones into stock, there will be some food waste that is inedible. Compost what you can, if you can – perhaps a guest can even take some peelings home for their compost pile or for chickens or other animals. If not, make use of your food waste council collection. You can get free caddy liners during December – or use a plastic bag (not black) or newspaper.
Want more tips on avoiding food waste and growing your own food?
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