22 wonderful ways to fight food waste

Don’t throw away forgotten food in your fridge, try some of these simple ideas to reduce waste and save you money!

When making the most of your leftovers, you'll notice the benefits are twofold; not only will you save money, you'll see a reduction in your food wastage. But if you're at a loss as to what to do with those odd bits of food left in the fridge, these tasty recipes are sure to inspire. You'll find pasta packed with stray pieces of cheese, a pie that will make the most of your leftover curry paste and even a dish that uses whole radishes - yes, even their tops! So, let's start clearing out that kitchen...

Consider storage

Not all food can be stored together.
Some vegetables, such as asparagus and sweet potatoes, are sensitive to a natural chemical known as ethylene, which speeds up the ripening process.
For a longer-lasting shop, be sure to keep foods like these away from high ethylene producers like passionfruit, figs and grapes.
So remember to make use of your veggie crisper and be mindful when putting away your weekly grocery shop.
If you're into meal prep, make sure you line the chopped fruit and vegetables with paper towels before placing them in storage containers, as they absorb the moisture that causes fruit to rot.
Another great storage hack is produce bags. Ones like The Swag deter moisture while allowing your food to breathe and stay fresher for longer.

Consider freezing

Placing some of your fruit and vegetables in the freezer will not only keep them fresher for longer, but also help in minimising overcooking. Just separate the food into zip lock bags, and only defrost what you need, when you need it.
Citrus fruits can last up to three months in the freezer, whilse other fruit can last anywhere between 9 and 12 months.
Crazy!
Vegetables can be kept frozen for up to 12 months.
That'll definitely help your wallet from hurting.
Just remember, things like lettuce, apples, melons, artichokes, eggplant potato and lettuce can't actually be frozen. So steer clear of freezing those.

How To Freeze Food

Become friends with your freezer and start making the most of those weekend cooking sessions!
Make the most of leftovers and know how to freeze food safely with these freezing food tips. Perfect for make-ahead work lunches for the month!
Pre-preparing and freezing meals is a perfect solution for busy parentsor for those days when you just don't feel like cooking.
But, there are certain things you have to keep in mind to ensure that your food is stored safely so we asked our Test Kitchen experts for their best tips and tricks for make-ahead meals.
TEMPERATURE
Remember, freezing food doesn't kill bacteria, it merely stops it from growing. So, to ensure your food won't come back to bite you down the track, it's important to check three things:
  • Your freezer temperature is between -15°C and -18°C.
  • Your food need is cool, or at room temperature, before freezing.
  • Any bag or container is well-sealed and airtight.
FREEZER FAVOURITES
Now that has been sorted, what is the best way to store your food?
  • Liquids: Cylindrical plastic containers are perfect for soups while ice-cube trays are great for keeping small amounts of liquid stock in the one place. Ice-cube trays are also great for storing mushy baby foods,
  • Single serves: If you want to keep individual lunch serves for work separate, snap-lock bags are the way to go. Just stick your sanga in one, make sure it's sealed and pop it in the fridge!
  • Patties/pizza: Keep your raw meats or patties from sticking together by layering them with a sheet of 'go-between' or freezer paper in the middle - great for separating single serves when you need them. Freezer paper is great for stacking pizzas, too.
  • Curries/pasta/rice: And basically anything else you can think of will keep well in any airtight plastic container.
WHAT TO AVOID
If there's one rule you absolutely must follow, it is to keep glass out of the freezer - it will explode and no-one wants that.
ONE LAST TIP
Make sure to label all your frozen foods so you know how long it will keep.
An easy way to ensure you don't find two-year-old food in the back corner of the freezer is to keep your containers on constant rotation. Every time you mass-cook meals, remember to put the newest at the back of the freezer and bring your older food to the front.

Buy what you need

It sounds simple, but never shop on an empty stomach. You'll want to buy everything and it will not end well.
Instead, consider bi-weekly grocery shops over going once a week.
It'll help you become more familiar with what is in your fridge and cupboard and prevent you from over-buying and wasting food.
Whilst these are only small steps to minimising your food waste, it can go a long way overall to saving you money and conserving food.
There is no need to buy five mangoes if you know you'll probably be sick of them after you've eaten the second one.

More From Women's Weekly Food