You are here:Home/Articles/Do you Love Food, But Hate Waste?
Do you Love Food, But Hate Waste?
By Professional Organiser Stephanie King of the Organising Project
How much food do you throw away every week?
Do you love food, but hate waste?
Whether they are food scraps, bones, prawn heads, out of date items in the back of the pantry, left-over lunches or the takeaway dinner was too big – the uncomfortable truth is that nearly all of us end up with food waste at some stage. According to the NSW government, the average household in NSW throws away almost $80 worth of food a week, or $3,800 per year…
The good news is, there are plenty of ways to reduce the amount of food waste you produce! The graphic gives you a quick overview!
So, let us look at this in more detail!
Meal Planning and Shopping
The best way to reduce your food waste is to be aware of what you bring into the house in the first place – discuss with your family what they like, or like to try, and build your shopping list around that. You can also make a conscious effort to check that you can use ingredients for more than one dish. Before you go shopping, check your list against what is still in the fridge, freezer and pantry to ensure that you do not buy something you already have.
Top Tip: Check the internet for pre-designed shopping lists or look for meal planning apps that create a detailed shopping list for you to use. Some even allow you to upload the shopping list straight into the online shopping software of your local supermarket!
Now that you bought all your groceries for the week, you need to store them properly; they need to be easily accessible, visible and often fully sealed to keep them fresh and vermin proof!
Howards Pull-Out Organisers are a great way to store items in deep shelves or in the fridge to keep them easily accessible. Organise your items by use – for example condiments in one, snacks in the other.
You could also invest in a few larger boxes and store your groceries sorted by the days of the week, so you just grab the entire box when you are ready to cook and have all the ingredients ready to go. Check out Howard Storage World to find the perfect solution for your grocery items and vegies.
Lazy Susans will help you keep everything visible and easy to access.
And do not forget to check your pantry staples to avoid out of date items!
TOP TIP: Put all cereals and flour straight into the freezer for 3 days before you transfer them to storage containers in the pantry to kill off any pantry moths and their eggs – the more natural the product, the more likely it is that the bugs are already in the sealed package you bring home!
Cooking and Meal Preparation
Preparing your meals in advance, batch cooking and freezing extra portions can save you time and money in the long run and gives you options on days you do not want to cook. Why not have your own “take-away” from the freezer instead of buying a quick meal.
Décor Tellfresh Storers come in different sizes and stack conveniently when not in use. I use the 250ml ones for snacks and the 500ml boxes for work lunches and quick dinners.
TOP TIP: Muffin trays are also a great way to freeze Bolognese sauce or Chili con Carne – once frozen, transfer to a larger storage container, and only grab what you need when reheating for a quick meal.
Leftovers and Food Scraps
If you cook, you will have food scraps and leftovers. But they do not have to go to waste. Why not have a left-over day on the weekend where you try and use up what is left in the fridge from the past week before you do your next shop? Left-over meat can be shredded and used for sandwiches, left over vegies can become a mixed salad or vegetable stock. If you do not have enough left-over vegetable scraps for stock, just have a big container in the freezer where you collect your scraps, and once the container is full, you cook up a batch. There are also online recipes that focus on leftovers.
TOP TIP: Freeze condiments like tomato paste and pesto in portion sizes ready for the next recipe. That way you do not throw out half a can of tomato paste just because you needed one teaspoon for the recipe.
If your Council provides you with a kerbside collection for food and garden waste, you may have a small kitchen bin for food scraps and compostable bags. There are many alternative kitchen compost bins around, if you prefer a design different to the one provided by your Council. By using the Council service, you can be sure that your food scraps will be turned into valuable compost and soil conditioners and won’t go to waste.
If you do not have a kerbside food waste collection, you can still recycle your food waste by having a compost bin or worm farm in the garden, or a bokashi bin in the kitchen. Most of them come with detailed instructions on best practice. In smaller home composting systems you may want to leave out bones, meat and cooked food scraps, unless they are fully sealed, to avoid attracting vermin to your garden.
TOP TIP: If you have a Council green and food waste service, put your left-over meat scraps, bones, prawns in a container and freeze them until the night before green bin day – that way they will not start smelling in your bin and you attract less flies.
If you still have food waste after implementing some, or all of these steps, don’t be too hard on yourself, but try and work out what caused it, and just work on that. Nobody is perfect, and it takes time to learn new habits. But with a little bit of effort, some home organisation and the right storage solutions reducing food waste will become easier every day!
The Organising Project is a Lake Macquarie based professional organising business, established in 2018 to help clients to declutter and organise their homes and offices.
Stefanie worked in waste management for seven years prior to starting up her professional organising business and recycling and waste minimisation remains one of her passions, along with planning, organising, de-cluttering and working towards a minimalistic lifestyle.
Whether you need help de-cluttering your spare room, structure your day or organise your home business, Stefanie will be happy to have a chat and see where she can assist on your journey.
With a little bit of help you can make a start to re-discover your house … and sometimes yourself.
Stefanie is a member of The IOPO International (Institute of Professional Organisers) (www.iopo.com.au).
$10 WELCOME VOUCHER
Join free and receive a $10 Welcome Voucher. It’s our gift to you for being part of our family.
RECEIVE A $10 REWARD
For every $200 you spend you’ll receive a $10 reward. This means you can be even more organised.
MEMBER EXCLUSIVE OFFERS
We save the best offers for our members. Be the first to know what’s NEW and what’s HOT!
ATTEND VIP EVENTS
Like to see the latest and greatest in storage and organisation? Attend a VIP event at your local store.