Use it up! and change the world
Over on Reduce footprints this week we’ve been set an awesome challenge.
We’ve been asked to use what is in our cupboards, pantry and freezers before buying new food items.
As you might be aware, reducing food waste is one of my more passionate areas in life!
For a few months I had this down to a fine art and managed to throw zero food away each week, but it took a lot of planning and I’ve got off the bandwagon a bit. The average household in the UK throws away one third of the food they buy. While I haven’t got quite that bad again there is certainly room for improvement.
I’m also on a decluttering mission and I’m trying to save a bit of money, so this challenge has come at a perfect time for me. What better way to achieve all these goals by having a rummage through the cupboards and meal planning around my loot?
After last week of going hardcore for the challenge I’m going to say that I *will* be buying fresh fruit and vegetables this week. They form such a large part of our diet that I’m not prepared to go without. But for tins and packets I’m willing to buy nothing for a week (or even longer).
The first step in reducing food waste is to take an inventory of what you have. Check the following six storage areas (and let me know if I’ve forgotten one):
- Refrigerator for anything that is about to go off
- Fruit bowl for anything going soft
- Vegetable rack for anything going wrinkly
- Food you are growing outside that needs harvesting
- Packets of stuff shoved at the back of the cupboards that you’ve forgotten about
- UFOs (unidentified frozen objects) in the freezer
Write everything down and then the fun begins – it’s time to get creative! Plan some of the meals your family likes to eat around the food you already have. If you don’t have an ingredient for your favourite recipe then this is the week to experiement – either leave it out, or substitute it with something you do have.
If you’re like me and rebel at recipes then you are only limited by your imagination. We’ve put some strange sounding concoctions together here at Chez Green but some of them have turned out to be family favourites. My ‘Sunday lunch soup’ is one such meal 😉
For fruit and veg that are wrinkly, don’t throw them away – use them up NOW! Make smoothies, pies and juices from the fruit, and soup or a big batch of pasta sauce from the vegetables – it’s basically food for free!
For things that are about to go off in the fridge, today is the day to use them up – either cook up and eat, invite friends around for an impromptu party or freeze them for later use.
Ok, I’m off to the kitchen to have a mooch around. I’d love you to join in and share some of your favourite ‘chuck it all in’ meals with me! Catch us on twitter: Little Green Blog and use the #ctww hashtag.