Brits Are Buying Too Much Food - Survey Reveals We Bin Over £500 Worth Of Our Supermarket Shop

Rarely is the case that the average household consumes 99% of what it purchases, but we didn't know the situation was quite this bad. Apparently, we're a nation of over-shoppers.

A study commissioned by Samsung revealed that per year we bin about £500 of food and that nearly 50% of the country throws away food that hasn't even been opened.

Nearly 75% of Brits do a big shop once a week, and 83% revealed they top that shop up with intermittent smaller shops during the week.

What type of food do Brits regularly throw away? Ready meals, fresh meat, milk, fruit juices, home made food and dairy products. It is believed that we also don't have a good understanding of what 'use by' and 'best before' dates are.

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Best before: These dates refer to quality rather than food safety. Foods with a 'best before' date should be safe to eat after the 'best before' date, but they may no longer be at their best.

Use by: These dates refer to safety. Food can be eaten up to the end of this date but not after even if it looks and smells fine. Always follow the storage instructions on packs.

Display until: You can ignore these dates as they are for shop staff not for shoppers.


Last month, Jennifer Waters wrote on Market Watch that experts revealed expiration dates have little to do with whether the food is safe to eat. "In fact," she reported, "many “use-by,” “sell-by” and “best-before” dates don’t have a thing to do with food safety. Instead, they’re indicators for shelving and inventory purposes used by retailers.

The Love Food Hate Waste Advises On Food Storage

“If the food looks or smells bad, certainly throw it away, but just because it reaches a certain date on the package is not a guarantee that the food is unsafe,” says Ted Labuza, a professor of food science and engineering at the University of Minnesota."

Food storage is also an issue - only 18% of people actually use the compartments in the fridge properly, while the rest stock items in there haphazardly. The fridge has different temperatures depending on how high the shelf is - so meat should ideally be stocked at the bottom.

Weirdly, Aberystwyth in Wales was revealed to be the most wasteful, with the average household wasting nearly £900 worth of food per year. Birmingham came second, with London at sixth place.

Here is a table of the most wasteful regions (well done Wrexham!)
  • Aberystwyth: £884
  • Birmingham: £830.96
  • Oxford: £708.24
  • Swansea: £682.76
  • Worcester: £672.36
  • London: £659.36
  • Bristol: £644.28
  • Newcastle: £632.84
  • Chelmsford: £627.64
  • Liverpool: £627.64
  • Leicester: £617.24
  • York: £606.84
  • Coventry: £575.12
  • Aberdeen: £555.88
  • Brighton and Hove: £536.12
  • Sheffield: £536.12
  • Belfast: £532.48
  • Norwich: £530.92
  • Wolverhampton: £523.12
  • Gloucester: £514.28
  • Manchester: £497.12
  • Glasgow: £490.36
  • Southampton: £469.56
  • Cambridge: £455
  • Leeds: £455
  • Edinburgh: £453.44
  • Cardiff: £434
  • Portsmouth: £408.72
  • Plymouth: £399.88
  • Wrexham: £382.20