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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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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


For future use

When there is a surplus of fruit I measure it up in lots for jam and freeze it. I then have fruit to make into jam when we run out. I do the same for lemon honey. I also make surplus veges into pickles etc . These make good and inexpensive Christmas presents along with a jar of jam. I find that these presents are much appreciated.

By: Marlene, Auckland


‘Free meals’

I freeze even small amounts of leftovers in containers straight after our evening meal. We also name and date them. Sometimes, when we are tempted to buy takeaways because we are feeling tired – we look in the freezer and pull out the little bits of leftovers. Sometimes we all have what I call a different ‘free meal’. We often purposely cook more than we can eat in one meal and freeze the rest in portions for one or two people.

By: Sylvia, Tauranga


Leftover bread

If you have leftover bread going stale or don’t like crusts, pop them in kitchen whizz to make breadcrumbs. Keep in freezer you have fresh breadcrumbs whenever you want them

By: Wendy, Oamaru


Brilliant Biobags

Put vegetables in biodegradable bags, not plastic, and their life will be astonishingly extended!

By: Briony, TImaru


Vegetable stew

When making vegetable stew I throw in whatever vegetables I have, plus garlic and ginger which add a great taste. Great for the slow cooker.

By: Suzanne, Masterton


Crisp celery

If you want crisp celery for salads and don’t want to freeze it for soups, wrap the whole fresh celery completely in foil and put in the fridge – lasts for weeks. Make sure to completely re-wrap the celery in the foil after each use.

By: Eve, Auckland


Lemon and lime rind

If the rind of lemons & limes are clean I grate them & use in salads, smoothies, pesto etc. or freeze for later use.

By: Ruth, Mt Maunganui


Fresh ginger all the time

I keep my fresh ginger in the freezer and grate when needing fresh ginger in recipes. It keeps for ages which means I always have fresh ginger on hand.

By: Jennifer, Mahia Beach


Old carrots

When carrots have started to go a bit soft, I dice and blanch them then free flow freeze them. Bags of frozen carrots to use when I run out of fresh.

By: Tracey, Featherston


Vegetable water

Save vegetable water in a jar in the fridge & use as base for soups, casseroles etc.

By: Ruth, Mt Maunganui


Lettuce leaves

Don’t throw out the tatty outer leaves of a lettuce – wash them, then lightly steam or saute them, or cut them into strips and use them in a stir fry.

By: Lauraine, Auckland


Don’t waste half a can of something

When you make a recipe that uses only half a can of something like coconut cream, condensed milk etc, either freeze the remainder straight away instead of leaving it in the fridge until it goes off. Or double the recipe you are making, and freeze the additional finished product to keep on hand as a spare meal or baking etc.

By: Jenni, Auckland


Use frozen food more

About 12 months ago I changed to using more frozen vegetables. I waste far less now from my fridge and only just cook the frozen vegetables when I need them. They are still just as tasty.

By: Lynda, Palmerston North


Regrow spring onions

When using spring onions, cut it off a couple of cm about the roots. Pierce the bottom piece (with the roots attached) carefully with a toothpick and suspend in a glass of water until a green shoot starts to appear at the top. Then plant and watch them regrow.
With the remainder of your spring onion slice into the sizes you require, place in plastic bag and freeze. Small amounts can then be used for soups, stews, omelettes etc

By: Eve, Gulf Harbour


My Food Bag!

My family has been getting My Food Bag for over a year now, and it is absolutely fantastic, not only because the recipes are great, but because we now waste hardly any food! Having all the ingredients for each weeknight meal means that we buy far less at the supermarket, and all the food that we have in the Food Bag is always used up! This means that we save money, time, and the environment 🙂 And if there are leftovers then they are demolished the following day for lunch as it is so good! My Food Bag has made a huge difference to our family, the amount food that we waste, and also the amount of money we spend on food.

By: Ellie, Auckland


Fruit and vege cubes

Any fruit that is going off gets blended up and frozen in ice cube trays for smoothies. Once frozen we transfer them to bags to be free-flow. Any veges like broccoli, capsicum, zucchini and even spuds or kumara that are going soft or are leftover get grated/diced up and put into bags in the freezer for quiche, mince meals or similar dishes.

By: Lisa, Tauranga


Oranges and lemons

Scrub fresh excess oranges and lemons and place in a bag in the freezer. When you need zest, just grate the amount required and return the fruit to the freezer. No more halves of citrus fruit lying in the fridge going off and grating the fruit means using every part of it.

By: Eve, Gulf Harbour