Your tips to reduce food waste

We each have things we do to make the most of our food. Maybe you make smoothies from brown bananas or your Mum has a special way of storing celery?

Tell us about it!
What do you do to reduce your food waste?
Share your tip!

Leftovers Vege Frittatta

Look for whatever you still have left in the vege bin to make a healthy & tasty meal by adding eggs & grated cheese:
In an oven proof pan sauté a finely sliced onion, add crushed garlic then finely sliced raw veges such as carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, leeks – whatever you have.
Then sliced leftover cooked potato, kumara, pumpkin etc.
When all are tender & heated through pour on 4 – 6 seasoned beaten eggs and sprinkle generously with grated cheese. Heat gently until the is egg nearly cooked then put under grill to brown & puff up the top.
– Small amounts of bacon, ham, cooked meat can also be added too.

By: Caron, Hamilton


Cupboard audit

Audit your fridge freezer and cupboards on a Sunday night. Just the stuff that catches your eye when you take a good look. Not every little item. Top 12 things. Today mine was:
Broccoli (nice and cheap)
Stale sour dough

Use your list of what you have, to design your menu for the week, and therefore your grocery list for the week. Even if you only have 2 left over half oranges and some carrots, you can put them together ( with some other stuff) and make Jamie Oliver’s cumin roasted carrot and cos lettuce salad!
It is surprising when you list the half feta, and the stale sourdough …that meal ideas appear ( in my head anyway!) garlic bread/croutons and a Med style(fatimas style) chickpea feta cos lettuce cucumber broccoli salad.

By: Bryony, Auckland


Tips from St Teresa’s School

1. Take your leftover food home to show mum and dad so they can pack you less if you can’t eat it all.
2. Keep potatoes and onions seperate.
3. Store apples in the fridge.
4. Keep bread in the freezer.

By: Libby MacGregor, Wellington


Brown Bananas

When Bananas are going to brown for my liking to eat them fresh it’s the best time to turn them into a delicious banana bread or cake! if I don’t have time to bake that day I just put them in my freezer where they store nicely for many months. They can be blended up and turned into delicious vegan icecream base as well: just add some vanilla essence, chocolate chips, berries or roasted nuts to your liking. 🙂

By: Sue, Auckland


seasonal gluts eggplant or aubergine

You can make a great dip from aubergines called baba ganoush. It is quite like hummus and is made the same way only using aubergines instead of chick peas. And you can freeze it, whereas freezing whole aubergines is usually very disappointing.

By: Lesley McQue, Nelson Tasman


Bits of sauces

Use ice cube trays to freeze small amounts of sauce such as pasta sauce (use for pizza) or gravy (use for a hot meat sandwich with any leftover roast meat that you have frozen). Also small amounts of cheese sauce can be used to mix into a jacket potato with a spoonful of chutney or pickle.

By: Lesley McQue, Nelson Tasman


Make your own Breadcrumbs

If your loaf of bread or rolls are getting a bit stale turn them into breadcrumbs using a food processor. We store these fresh breadcrumbs in a bag in the freezer and take then take out only what we need for recipes! It’s brilliant – we save money by reusing our own bread & we always have breadcrumbs on hand!

By: Janita Patrick, Christchurch


That butter paper

Not strictly a food tip but if you have ever wondered what to do with the paper from around a block of butter. Use it instead of baking paper to line cake and loaf baking tins and slice tins. Keep the papers folded in the fridge until needed. Gently remove any excess butter that may be clinging to the paper before use.

By: Megan


Veggie scraps stock

I collect vegetable peelings, tops & tails in an airtight container in the fridge. When the container is filled, I boil them up with herbs and seasoning to make vegetable stock. This gets frozen in batches and I use it for soup or for cooking rice and other grains.

By: Kaye Gilhooley, Christchurch


Cauliflower stems and leaves

Finely slice cauliflower stalks and add in stews, soups, or pies. Use the leaves in stir fries.



By: Ruth Nicholls, Cambridge


Blended banana peel rose food

Blend banana peels with plenty of water to feed your roses.


By: Anna, Auckland


Leftover beetroot

Have you got leftover raw beetroot? Cut into thin slices and roast them in the oven with sugar or herbs and make sweet & savoury beetroot chips!!! Kids love it!

By: Aimee, Christchurch


Croutons from Stale Bread

Don’t throw away your stale bread. Chop the bread into small cubes, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt then bake them until golden and crispy!

By: Unitec- Managing Everyday Living, Auckland


Tiny left over do overs

Sometimes there may be a tiny amount of a meal leftover that makes a great lunch or snack. So why not put it into a toasted sandwich with cheese, cook it up with egg, or wrap it in pastry and bake it in a toastie maker.

By: Donna Joy, Invercargill


Use for broccoli stalks and leaves

I save broccoli stalks and freeze them. When it comes time to make a large pot of soup I partially defrost the stems then grate them and put them into the soup. Or I cut them up into match sticks for stir fries.

By: Raewyn, Auckland


Ginger peels

Instead of peeling ginger, you can scrape ginger with a paring knife which will remove the peel clean without taking ginger bits with it.

By: Sudha Nayak, Auckland


Leftovers Pie

I keep a packet of pastry sheets in the freezer I have a non stick baking tin the exact size of a pastry sheet. Press a sheet into the tin prick all over with a fork. Now gather all the leftovers from the fridge and spread over. Any little thing will do. Within reason don’t worry about the combinations. Sprinkle a little grated cheese over the top. Bake in hot oven until golden. We have had some amazing mixes and never one the same. One of our favourite quick meals and as we don’t buy pies we also have a pastry fix now and again.


By Jenny, Gisborne


Leftovers Buffet

Do you have quite a few leftover meals in the freezer but not enough for an individual meal? Put a selection of leftovers together and have a buffet. Depending  on what type of food you cook, it is like having an international buffet, i.e. Butter Chicken, Spaghetti Bolognese, roast dinner and so on!  It also helps to reduce space in your freezer for more leftovers!

By: Sue, Auckland