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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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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


Removing vegetables from their bags

Remove fruit or vegetables from their supermarket plastic bags before placing them in the drawer in the fridge. It’s easy to forget what needs to be used up when it’s not visible.

By: Nick, Auckland


Leftover rice

If we have rice left over from dinner I like to make it into rice pudding by adding some milk, brown sugar (or golden syrup), an egg and a pinch of cinnamon. Cook it in the oven or microwave while you eat dinner and dessert is sorted.

By: Steph, Blenheim


Waste no bread

We always keep our bread in the freezer = zero waste

By: Dianne, Paraparaumu


Bliss Balls

Left over porridge makes a great addition to bliss balls, adding to the goodness that is packed inside of them. And if I’m making lemon and coconut bliss balls, I keep the peel from the lemons and freeze it, ready for adding to risottos or muffins later

By: Anna, Alexandra


Making your meals go further on a budget and using leftovers

Adding bread, rice and leftover vegetables to mince to make huge lasagnes, meat loaves, meatballs, meat or vege patties is a great economical as well as preventing food waste idea. I just mix it all in together with some seasoning and pasta sauce. Can freeze individual portions in freezer for work lunches as well. Also with muffins, leftover grated fruit or veg, leftover cream, instant pudding, fruit juices etc all can be added to make tasty muffins. I’ve had a big family and have lived this way for a long time to feed people nourishing, filling and economical meals. Any scraps go to our hens.

By: Heather, Invercargill


Making little bits useful

If you have a lot of ‘too small to be useful’ leftovers, put them in the freezer as soon as they’re left over instead of thinking you “will use it somehow in the next few days” and leaving it in the fridge. Dedicate a box or drawer to these. Then eventually you’ll have enough together that you can make something useful out of many saved portions of similar food types. Date them so you know how old they are and can use the oldest first.

By: Deb, Christchurch


‘Souffle’ with stale bread and crusts

Throw every crust or piece of stale bread into a bag in the freezer. When the bag is full, thaw bread, cut into strips. With your hands mix in grated cheese, leftover vegetables and herbs. Place in an oven dish and pour over a mix of egg, milk and garlic. Cook until raised and golden. Serve with salad or other seasonal veg. Our kids’ favorite.

By: Jane, Levin


Use yoghurt to make healthy ice pops

In the past, things like yogurt would slowly make its way to the back of the fridge and I’d find it past the used by date! I’m checking dates a lot more often, and then using things before they go off. This is yogurt that was going to expire tomorrow.. We wouldn’t have eaten it all in time, so now, with the help of my blender, a banana & some blueberries, my son has healthy ice pops to eat for the next week or so.

By: Shannon, Auckland


Tomato Paste

I buy a large jar, use what I need, then freeze the rest in ice cube trays. I then put the tomato paste ice cubes into a bag and store in freezer.

By: Anna, Nelson


Keep potatoes and onions separate

Potatoes and onions sprout faster when stored together. So keep your potatoes and onions in different parts of the kitchen. Keep your potatoes in the dark to stop them going green. Storing them in a paper bag will help.

By: Paul, Browns Bay


Tomato paste

After using half a tin of tomato paste, save the rest by smoothing the top over with a spoon. Then pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top and store in the fridge. Will keep at least a week.

By: Trixie, Papakura