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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?

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What do you do to reduce your food waste?
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Feed worms, not the bin

Investing in a worm farm has been fabulous for us. I feed them food scraps, vegetable peelings, chopped banana skins and crushed egg shells. We use the liquid and worms castings for garden fertiliser.

By: Geraldine, Wellington


Where to store eggs

Egg cartons are for more than just safely transporting eggs. Eggs are porous, which means smells and liquid can be absorbed by the tiny pores on the shell. Storing eggs in their cartons helps prevent this. Place egg cartons on a middle or lower shelf in the fridge, not on the door.


Buy foods which can be used for more than one meal

When shopping, buy ingredients that are versatile and you can use for many meals. Spinach can be used not only in quiche but also along with grated carrot to bulk up mince and pasta dishes. Lentils can be used in stews and in soups as well as kidney beans in nachos and in shepherd’s pie.

By: Caroline, Levin


Freeze your leftovers

I freeze all of my leftovers. On nights when I can’t be bothered cooking I’m thankful that I have leftovers in the freezer!

By: Julia, Lower Hutt


Using up milk

If you have milk that is close to its expiry, using it for a delicious rice pudding is a great way to use it up. Rice pudding uses around a litre of milk (depending on your whanau size and how much they love it)!

By: Mel, Wellington


Crispy Potato Skins

Turn potato peelings into chips. Mix potato skins in a bowl with enough oil to lightly coat them. Place on a baking tray. Put skins in an 180°C oven for 15 mins or until crispy.

By: Will and Jane, @thenextmeal


Eat your leeks

By: Sarah, Auckland


Dairy savings

If you have cream or milk that is on the turn, put it in baking such as muffins, scones, quiche or cake. You can also make ricotta by adding a tablespoon of vinegar per cup of sour milk, microwaving until separated and pour into a sieve and leave until the desired firmness. Great with tomatoes and olive oil!

By: Campbell, Auckland


Brown bananas

I mash brown bananas that no one wants to eat, freeze them and then use to make banana cake, or banana muffins

By: Geraldine, Wellington


Banana toasties

Squishy brown bananas and peanut butter make the most delicious toasted sandwiches, The over-ripe bananas are so sweet and taste caramelised when toasted.

By: Heather, Warkworth


Excess parsley

I grow Italian parsley and I always have too much. When I’m using the oven I cut off excess stems of parsley, cut the leaves off and place on a baking tray. As soon as the oven is turned off I place the tray of leaves in the oven; after approx 1 1/2 – 2 hours I take the tray out & crush the dried parsley leaves & place in an airtight jar ready for use when the plant is dormant.

By: Geraldine, Wellington


Stale bread

When our children were younger we would collect the crusts and stale bread & take the children to the local park to feed the ducks. Now that our children are older we blitz stale bread to make breadcrumbs, mouldy bread feeds the sparrows.

By: Geraldine, Wellington


Tea leaves

Used tea leaves are great for the garden. Add them to the soil around plants to give them a boost of nutrients. You can also put them into your compost.

By: Ritual Tea Company


Apple cores

When your children eat apples at home, or you use them in baking, collect the cores and skins etc in a container or snaplock bag in the fridge. When there is about half a cup or more, simmer these in a water to cover them, wait for them to break up a bit and turn slushy. Pour contents of the pot into a sieve over a jug or bowl, freeze this pectin stock in ice cube trays and add a couple of cubes to low pectin fruit jams such as strawberry. You can also add these to sauces and marmalade etc which need to set to a thicker consistency.

By: Caroline, Levin


Use up all food

We plan all our meals for the week on a Sunday then only buy what we need. This saves us buying something we don’t need and having leftovers. It also makes cooking easier as we know what we are having for dinner and lunch all week. We always have oats so if we have overly ripe bananas we mash them into the oats to make it go further. We usually double a meal such as a stir fry and will have it for lunch. On a Sunday we cook a frittata to use up any extra veges we have lying around. This makes a great lunch on a Monday and Tuesday.

By: Olivia, Christchurch


Spinach and kale

I cut up spinach and kale and put in a container in the freezer (don’t cook it first). Then I always have it ready to add to omelettes, stews and other recipes. I also freeze almost everything that isn’t an everyday use item.

By: Veronica, Auckland


Bread or breadcrumbs

Kids don’t like crusts? Turn them into breadcrumbs in the blender, then make stuffing. Add herbs, onions, whatever you like, bind with a little stock or egg then roast. You can make the stuffing without the chicken – the kids will love it.

By: Lisa, Lower Hutt


Waste veges

Take all kind of vegetables that would be going to waste, (peelings, ends of carrot etc) and put in a big pot with water and some of you favourite herbs and salt. Simmer for over an hour. You now have a stock for soups or sauces, and it can be frozen.

By: Prika, Hinds