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Things you can do in 2 minutes to cut food waste


Tips and Tricks


Tuesday, May 16, 2017 9:00 AM

We’re a busy bunch aren’t we? 

Often we just don’t have the time to think, organise, plan or work out if that food is still fine to eat - and we can end up throwing food away.

But most of us want to do our bit to help the environment, to be a good example, to live better, healthier lives.  

Sure you could wait until you find the time to properly sort out your fridge/pantry/kitchen/life (circle one).

OR you could just start by doing one small thing differently!

You’ll start heading in the right direction and get the satisfied feeling that you’ve done a little something worthwhile. 

So here are some simple things you can do in under 2 minutes to start reducing your food waste TODAY. 

Pick one to try this week and try another next week. Find something that works for you.

Good luck!

1. Dice up stale bread and freeze.

Why? Bread ends, leftover bread rolls and uneaten slices can all be diced up and frozen for when you need to jazz up a soup or salad with toasted croutons.

2. Put a pen and pad in your kitchen to write down items you run out of as you go.

Why? No more accidentally doubling up on items at the supermarket and you’ve already started your shopping list!


Woman looking in pantry cupboard

Bring old items to the front so you use them up first.


3. Apply FIFO – first in, first out. When you unpack shopping, put new items at the back and bring old ones to the front.

Why? You’ll naturally grab the older items that need to be used up first.

4. Start a vegie stock container in the freezer.

Why? Off cuts from carrots, celery, onions and loads more can be frozen to make a delicious homemade vegie stock on a free weekend. Check out this great how-to guide from The Rogue Ginger.


Best before date

Food that's passed it Best Before date will lose quality but will still be safe to eat.


5. Read this short paragraph to understand the difference between use-by and best before dates.

Why? Knowing the difference between these can save you throwing away food that is perfectly good to eat.

6. Think of an item you need to use up and plan your next meal around it.

Why? You’ll start making it a habit to use up what you’ve got, reducing the chance of things ending up in the bin.


fridge temperature

Having your fridge at the temperature will make leftovers and produce last longer.


7. Buy a small thermometer and put it in the fridge.

Why? For those of us without fancy temperature control, it makes it easy to keep your fridge in the optimal temperature range between 3-4 degrees Celcius.

8. Put food in the fridge straight away instead of waiting until it cools completely.

Why? The longer food stays between 5-60 degrees Celcius, the more bacteria can develop so you need to get your leftovers below 5 degrees stat!


Storing potatoes and onions

Are you making this common storage mistake?


9. Separate your onions and potatoes.

Why? Onions make potatoes sprout and go bad faster. 

10. Decide on a leftovers night.

Why? Leftovers night is a great way to clear out the fridge and pantry. Spread out leftovers and let the family go to town.

11. Put a couple of extra ice-cube trays in the freezer.

Why? So you can freeze extra bits of tomato paste, lemon juice, coconut milk and lots more. Check out the video for the full list.


Are there any other simple things you do to get the most out of your food?

Let us know on the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/LoveFoodHateWasteVictoria/ 




Our top 10 tips and hacks to waste less food


Tips and Tricks


Monday, May 15, 2017 1:00 PM

You probably know food waste is bad for your budget and the environment.

You might have tried a few things to cut back the waste in your house. But you always seem to end up binning an unfortunate amount of shriveled fruit and forgotten leftovers every week.

Sound familiar?

Food is wasted right along the supply chain, from farm to supermarket to consumer. But food waste by consumers (you and I) has the largest impact on climate change, contributing 37 per cent of the total carbon footprint of food waste.1 

Why? Because the food we waste has already been processed, transported and cooked, generating greenhouse gases and using resources at every step. 

So if you want to finally break the food waste cycle, here are our top tips to help you get there.


Our top 10 tips to waste less food


1  Check the freezer tonight for anything you can defrost for tomorrow night’s meal. Do it while you're prepping tonight's meal and you’ll keep a regular turn-over of food in the freezer and save yourself time in the kitchen. 

2  Plan at least some of your meals, perhaps for weeknights or just 1-2 days ahead. Plan meals around the items you most need to use up. Download our simple weekly meal planner to keep on the fridge or try using a meal plan app on your phone. 



Plan at least a few meals a week and start with what you’ve got.


3  Buy fresh produce 2-3 times a week instead of weekly. Bulk buying is great if you’re organized enough to use it all up, but for most people, it will end up costing you more in food waste than what you saved.

4  Do a 30-second fridge and pantry check before you shop.  Or take a quick pic on your phone so you can check if needed. Knowing you already have two capsicums is the first step to avoiding them ending up in the bin.


Two capsicums

Two isn’t always better than one. Check for items you already have before you shop.


5  Buy only what you need (aka don’t snap up a 2-for-1 deal unless you actually need two). Changing your mindset to one of buying only what you need will change your life and your bank balance, as well as what’s in your bin.

6  Keep fruits and vegies separate and move very ripe fruit away from unripe items. Fruits emit ethylene, especially when very ripe, which can speed up the ripening and spoil other foods nearby. Learn what to store where.


Fresh fruit bowl

Fruit emits ethylene which can make vegies spoil faster. 


7  Use the entire food. Keep the skin on fruit and vegetables, like carrots, apples and potatoes. This is a great time-saver and reduces food waste - the peel is also nutritious! Add celery leaves to salad or throw in soups. Whiz-up day old bread into breadcrumbs. Use your BBQ chicken carcass for stock. Check out this video for a great tip for cauliflower leaves.

8  Snack on perishable foods like fruits and vegetables. Try vegetable sticks with your favourite dip. Apple slices or celery with peanut butter and sultanas. Pop some cherry tomatoes into the lunchbox. Boiled eggs are also a great lunchbox addition. This is a great way to reduce food waste and get some more fruit and veg into your diet.


fresh bread tomato basil cheese snack 

Snack on fresh food to use it up (and it’s good for your body - bonus!)


9  Freeze leftovers in individual portion sizes. You’ll always have quick meals ready to go for lunch or dinner and you’ll save big bucks by not throwing food away. 


Leftovers fridge containers

Think of leftovers as free homemade fast food!


10  Start a weekly leftovers night. Make it a household challenge to cook from what you’ve got in the fridge, freezer and pantry. The regular clear-out will make your food storage areas much more manageable and you can get kids involved in thinking up new ways to use food. Almost anything can be thrown into an omelet or salad, add your leftovers to some beaten eggs or salad leaves and voila!


While some food waste is unavoidable (like egg shells or meat bones), most of it is simply because we forget or run out of time. Hopefully this has given you at least one new idea you can try to reduce your household’s food waste. 


Do you have any other tips you’d add to our top 10 food saving tips? Let us know on the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/LoveFoodHateWasteVictoria/ 



'Food wastage footprint: Impacts on natural resources' FAO 2013


Love your food

Each year Victorian households throw out 1,000 tonnes of processed fruit.