10 Tips To Make Food Go Further And Stop Waste

28/01/2014 14:10 | Updated 22 May 2015

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Cash-strapped families are cutting back on luxuries, but throwing away essentials. That's the contradiction revealed in two recent reports.

While millions of families are sacrificing everything from holidays to cinema trips, and even bubble bath, each household dumps £680 worth of perfectly edible food – enough to fill Wembley Stadium nine times over.

The Campaign Against Food Waste will hold a 'Feeding the 5,000' event in Trafalgar Square on 18 February to highlight the £12 billion problem, featuring meals prepared by well-known chefs, including Thomasina Miers, Valentine Warner and Arthur Potts Dawson.


But what can you do to ensure the food you buy every week ends up inside you and your family, instead of in the bin?


We've teamed up with Love Food Hate Waste to bring you these tips, ideas and recipes.


• Use By

"Food can be eaten up to the end of the 'use by' date, but not after – even if it looks and smells fine."

• Best Before

"These dates refer to quality rather than food safety. When the date is passed, the food won't be unsafe but might begin to lose its flavour and texture."

• Display Until

"You can ignore these dates as they are for shop staff, not shoppers."

Eat Within...

"Always follow on-pack storage instructions, such as 'eat within three days of opening'."



• Wrap lettuce, carrots, courgettes and other vegetables in kitchen paper then put them in plastic bags in the salad compartment of the fridge. They keep fresh for ages. The paper stops the condensation from softening the veg and also stops mould.


• Freeze leftover sauces (pesto, pasta, Chinese) in ice cubes trays and use to flavour future dishes.

• Peel, chop and par-boil potatoes and freeze them in bags. Defrost to make fantastic crispy roasties or chips.

• Don't throw potato peelings away. Just sprinkle with salt, pepper, chilli or other spices and crisp them in the oven.


• Refresh stale bread by soaking under running water, then reheat in a moderate oven until crisp and golden.


• Save sandwich crusts in a plastic bag in the freezer until you have enough to make breadcrumbs. They can be used for toppings on casseroles, stuffings or pie crusts.

• Apples can be frozen in slices after they've been quickly cooked in boiling water. Freeze in a single layer then pack into bags once frozen. Use the frozen apples to make into apple cake or apple sauce.

• Add any leftover yogurt to a cake or scone mixture instead of milk.

• Very ripe tomatoes make a wonderful homemade tomato sauce. Slow-cook with onions, garlic, herbs and sugar. Use on pizza or with pasta.

• Make garlic bread fingers with the end crusts from a loaf. Toast one side, spread with garlic butter, grill and cut into fingers.


These mini pizzas can be assembled and frozen ahead of time, so all you need to do is take them out of the freezer and cook on baking trays from frozen. You could cut rounds from a 30cm ready-made pizza base for a more authentic pizza. Any leftover bread bag up and pop into the freezer to use later for breadcrumbs or feeding the birds!

Makes 20 pizzas


8 slices of bread

Any toppings from your fridge or storecupboard

Here are some great combinations:

Ham and cheese

2 tbsp pizza topping or pasta sauce

Any sliced ham

2 tbsp cream cheese or grated hard cheese

Chopped chives

Blue cheese and Onion Chutney

2 tbsp pizza topping or pasta sauce

Blue cheese, such as Stilton, crumbled

Onion chutney

Spring onions

Greek mini pizzas

2 tbsp pizza topping or pasta sauce

Pitted black olives, halved

Slices of red pepper or cherry tomatoes

Feta cheese

Basil leaves (optional)

1. Preheat the grill and brown the slices of bread on just one side. Cut into small circles using a 4.5cm pastry cutter.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C /400F/Gas 6 and place the rounds onto a baking tray.

3. Get your chosen toppings ready and pull out any leftover cheese or meats from the fridge. Spoon a small teaspoon of pizza topping or sauce onto each round; arrange your chosen topping over the sauce.

4. Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the pizzas are heated through and the cheese is golden brown, serve hot.

To freeze ahead; complete the recipe up to the end of step 3. Freeze on a flat tray, then gather up and store in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months.

To use; Place on baking sheets and cook from frozen for 10 mins at 200 C/400F/Gas 6.

This is a great recipe for using up bananas past their best. Supermarkets often sell off spotted bananas cheaply so snap them up and make this amazingly simple ice cream. It contains no cream or sugar, so is healthy, too.


Ripe bananas

1. Peel eight ripe bananas, wrap in cling film and freeze overnight.

2. Allow to soften for 20 minutes then put into a food processor and whiz until thick and creamy. Serve immediately or refreeze.

Love Food Hate Waste's website has brilliant ideas for using up leftover food. Just click on the 'what food needs using up' and a choice of recipes springs up.

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