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‘Beat the Recession, Save Money on Food’.

Published: 16th April 2009 18:03

 ‘Beat the Recession, Save Money on Food’.

In the current economic climate many are feeling the pinch and if your purse strings are feeling a little tight then your kitchen could be the place to make some valuable money savings! Around a third of all the food we buy in the UK ends up being thrown away and most of this is perfectly good food that could have been eaten - not just peelings and bones.

In the UK we throw away 6.7 million tonnes of food each year. Most of this ends up in landfill sites which contributes to climate change because it emits methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas. Not only are the environmental implications huge but the financial ones are too - it is costing us around £10 billion each year, an average of about £400 per year for every household!

Cutting down on food waste is really easy. Love Food Hate Waste offers a whole host of practical hints, tips and recipes to help. Ainsley Harriott says "You don't have to be a chef to know how to cut down on food waste, you just need to care about your pocket and the rest will follow." We can all be savvy chefs and start saving money now by using our fridges and freezers to make our food last longer and go further. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Most ripe fruit can be kept in the fridge to make it last longer.

  • Your freezer really is your kitchen hero - many fresh foods can be frozen: check the label.
  • If things are approaching their "Use By" date and you won't get round to eating them - pop them in the freezer for another day.
  • Sliced bread can be frozen and then used for breakfast toast. Whole loaves can be cut in half or into smaller chunks and frozen. Put them in poly bags or better still use the inner bags that corn flakes etc came in.
  • Grate cheese in small portions and freeze - take it out in the morning so it's defrosted itself by lunchtime ready for sandwiches.
  • To freeze tomatoes remove their stalks and freeze whole in freezer bags. They can then be used in place of canned tomatoes, in a tomato or Bolognese sauce or chilli con carne. Just put them in the pan at the point when you would add the canned tomatoes. Ideally defrost overnight in the fridge so the cooker doesn't waste heat defrosting them and the fridge gets a hand at keeping cool so saving some electricity.

For more ideas or to pass on your own tips or recipes for making the most of food, log on to www.lovefoodhatewaste.com and share them with everyone.

For peelings and cores? Home composting is a great way to prevent unavoidable food waste such as peelings, cores and teabags ending up in landfill and can do wonders for the garden. Home composting is better than landfill because the decomposition process is different and creates much less methane. For more information on the food we waste go to www.wrap.org.uk

John Stott - Make Henley Greener

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