There's something really satisfying about getting the most out of the food you buy. Cutting down on food waste is good for the planet and your purse. So check out our top tips to discover how to love your leftovers and save money before you even get to the supermarket...
Most of us tend to just buy the same things every week, or run around the supermarket frantically throwing in random items if we're pushed for time. But a little forward planning can save time and money. Sit down the night before you shop and work out a quick weekly meal planner, taking into account if, say, you're eating out on one night, or the kids are staying over a friends' house. If you buy just what you need, you'll end up with less waste and you'll also know exactly what you're cooking and when, giving you the chance to prepare food in advance.
Explore your kitchen
Mount an expedition to the dark corners of your kitchen cupboards or the back of your fridge to discover exactly what's lurking there. You might have six tins of tomatoes that you've forgotten about, or packs of yogurts just about to go out of date. Knowing exactly what you've got in your kitchen and when it's no longer good to use will stop you over-buying and really get you thinking about using up food when it's at its best. And if you get stuck for ideas about what to do with food that's just about to go past its best, remember Ryvita is a perfect partner for whatever you might find - anything from hummus to tuna to tinned lentils. So make sure you've always got a packet in the cupboard (it lasts for ages!) Just visit the ‘What's In Your Fridge?' section of our new website for more great recipes.
Become a portion-ologist
We hear a lot about ‘portion size' from diet doctors and nutritionists, but how many of us actually stop to think exactly how many potatoes we really need for the family mash, or how much pasta you eat in a single portion? Use the handy portion guide from Love Food Hate Waste and check packets and jars for typical sizes, then adjust your cooking accordingly. You'll end up with less waste (and possibly even a smaller waistline!)
Get fresh with your freezer
The freezer isn't just for fishfingers! Frozen veg is just as nutritious as fresh and it tastes great too - so if, for example, you find you're always left with browning broccoli at the end of the week, switch to frozen and just cook what you need. You can also freeze uneaten portions of casseroles, soups and stews and use them as quick meals when you're in a hurry. And if you're saving money on three for two offers on, say, chicken breasts or mince, pop the spares straight in the freezer as soon as you get home in case you don't get time to cook them before they go off.
Love your leftovers
Use a little leftover magic to transform anything from a chicken carcass to the kids' abandoned broccoli into new and tasty meals. Check out our fabulous soup recipes for starters - there's no limit to what you can whizz up in the blender. All you need is some leftover meat, vegetables and stock (which you can make from the Sunday roast's chicken carcase and last week's leeks, onions and carrots).
For more great ideas on saving money and cutting down on waste, visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com