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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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Make potato peel chips

Get creative with ‘waste’. If you must peel spuds, toss the peelings in a little olive oil, salt, garlic and rosemary and put in a pan on the fire top for a few hours, or oven bake. Potato chips, yum!

By: Megan, Central Otago


Feed your pigs

Feed your food scraps to animals. Bonnie and Clyde love our leftovers!

By: Julie, Oamaru


Keeping fruit & vege fresh

Tupperware fruit & vege fridge containers are brilliant at extending the life of fruit & vege by using vents to allow the produce to ‘breathe’ the right amount. They seem pricey but will pay for themselves in no time!

By: Megan, Napier


Using all of a bunch of celery

I cut up the entire bunch including the leaves, and store in a ziplock bag in the freezer. The only unused bit is the root and that goes in the dog bowl. They love it!

Precut celery is perfect in soups, stir fries, casseroles, sheperds pie etc. Just grab a handful as you need it – it freezes well in the bag, no need to free flow.

By: Wendy, Murchison


Summer berries

I tend to have berries left over during the summer, so I wash and hull them, place them onto a baking sheet and place them into the freezer. After about a day I remove them separately from the baking sheet and place them into a zip-lock bag, and leave them in the freezer for future use.

By: Sandy, Wellington


Use vegetable peelings to make stock

I store any vegetable peelings in a zip lock bag in the freezer and when I have a full bag I use them to make my own vegetable stock. You can use almost any vegetable peelings / ends or meat bones left after a roast dinner. This is a cheaper way of getting stock and means you don’t have packaging to get rid of from shop-bought stock.

By: Gemma, Wellington


Make sandwiches with frozen bread

I put my sliced bread straight into the freezer and when I want to take a sandwich to work for lunch – I just use frozen slices, make the sandwich as normal and wrap it up. By lunchtime, the bread has defrosted and I have a fresh sandwich ready to go. The bread is nice and soft as its been frozen from fresh. This means bread never goes stale or mouldy or needs to be thrown out. You can also toast bread straight from frozen.

By: Gemma, Wellington


By: Justine, Auckland


Leftovers make good pizza toppings

I freeze small portions of leftover meats (eg two meatballs, half cup cooked chicken) to use as pizza toppings.

By: Donna, Invercargill


Don’t cook one night a week

I don’t prepare a meal from scratch one night per week, instead I empty the fridge and pantry of leftovers and any half consumed packets to pull together a meal or three.

By: Angela, Hawkes Bay


Turn crusts into breadcrumbs

I have two children who refuse to eat their crusts. We now have an uneaten bread and crusts bag in the freezer. Whenever it gets bulky we use the food processor to turn it into bread crumbs. While you’ve got the processor out, you can also easily pre-make crumble topping by just adding two tablespoons of butter to every 2-3 slices of bread. Freeze it in bags then when your fruit is starting to turn or you have more than you can eat, you have ready-made crumble ready to go.

By: Rod, Wellington


Turn leftover cereal into smoothies

Living with five children I’m on a tight budget, and was fed up with the half-eaten bowls of cereal and milk leftover from breakfasts and the half-eaten fruit that came home in the lunchboxes. So I put the breakfast leftovers in the fridge and combined them with the fruit to make after-school smoothies—this has proved popular with the kids and has saved me a lot!


Keep track of your leftovers

I used to put leftovers in the fridge, forget about them and then have to throw them away because they’d gone off. Now I’ve brought a magnetic whiteboard and I write what leftovers I put in the fridge and when they went in. This reminds me to eat them first and I don’t have to worry about trying to remember how old they are.

By: Ana Central Hawkes Bay


Freeze brown bananas

My favourite tip is to peel, cut and freeze spotty bananas and use them in smoothies.

By: Cayley, Tauranga


Keep track of older veges in your fridge

I used to waste heaps of vegetables that had gone soggy at the bottom of the vegetable drawer in the fridge. Now every time I put new vegetables in the fridge they go in the right bin, and I move the ones that were in there over to the left bin. When I go to cook a meal I first check the left bin to use up as much as I can from there before I use the newest vegetables that are in the right bin.

By: Wendy, Porirua


Have a “leftovers” shelf in your fridge

We now have a new rule in our house – all leftovers and left over ingredients get put on the top shelf of the fridge. That way we always see them and it prompts us to use them up before going for something else.

By: Rebecca, Tauranga


Keep fruit in the fridge

I used to keep fruit in a fruitbowl and occasionally things would go brown or mouldy. Now I keep most of my fruit in fridge, with only a few pieces in the fruit bowl that I can eat within a day or two.

By: Katharina, Kapiti


Going away? Leave food for a neighbour

If I’m going away and I have perishable food in my fridge, I will drop it around to a neighbour before I leave.

By: Justine, Auckland