British families are still wasting fresh food (and good money), by not eating what they buy.
According to a study by Manchester Metropolitan University’s Food Research Centre, a third of people admit to wasting food at the end of the week by throwing away stuff they claim has “gone off.” Considering a third also claimed they had less to spend this year, this wastage seems even more shocking.
Over half of people budget for their monthly food shop and with about the same proportion admitting they overspend, how can they save money whilst still ensuring their families get the nutrients they need?
The study, which involved 9 families, compared the wastage, taste and value for money of fresh meals compared to the equivalent frozen meals over a two week period.
The detailed study findings showed the families involved saved a third on their weekly household shopping cost by buying frozen food as well as reducing waste by over a third. The families involved were pleasantly surprised by the quality and taste of frozen food. It was also more convenient for those with busy lifestyles.
Here to help us understand how to reduce waste and get more value from your family’s weekly shop, without compromising on taste, is financial expert Ceserina Holm-Kander.
Cesarina’s top tips for feeding a family on a budget:
• Keep your grocery shop regular (eg. once a fortnight) and buy in bulk
Frozen food can help here. Buy perishables daily but only to supplement the core meals that come from frozen. Cook two or three extra portions of any one recipe at the beginning of the period and then immediately freeze the extras.
Sticking to a plan stops you coming home from the supermarket with a load of food, but no real idea of what you are going to cook. Planning won’t just cut back on waste – it will save you a lot of time and money as well!
• Plan your shopping list
Having planned your meals, this is the next logical step. Make a list and stick to it! The facts above are telling in this respect – 340,000 tonnes of food every year that is completely edible, yet never makes its final destination. By planning in advance what you’re going to eat, you can buy frozen food and know what it is that you’re going to cook three or four days away. Contrary to popular belief, there’s a huge range of frozen foods that cover nearly every food range.
The chances of getting bored with the same thing are pretty low!
• Use and understand your freezer
You really can buy almost anything in frozen form – from herbs through to meat, bread through to cakes or fish. With correct care and maintenance (see the Freezer page on this website) your freezer will become your most useful tool in the fight against waste.
• Make sure you get your portion control correct
By only cooking what you need straight from the freezer, you will get your portion control more accurate. Also, remember that world food prices are going up. The more we waste, the faster they will rise. So work out what you eat in terms of weight, and make a note for future reference. Eventually it will become second nature!4
• Use your leftovers – don’t throw them away
The freezer and Tupperware are the two best things that ever happened to waste management. Make the most of both of them, and you’ll always have a freezer full of frozen uncooked food and frozen leftovers ready for reheating!5
• Don’t shop hungry
Feeling hungry will tempt you into buying a whole load of stuff you don’t really need or want! By shopping soon after you’ve eaten, you will become a lot more discerning with your grocery shop.
• Think of ways to cut down on packaging
It’s not just food that we waste… the packaging it comes in is now also proving to be a massive burden. Major supermarkets have recently been told by the government that they must look at ways to reduce packaging.6 By thinking green and considering the frozen alternatives, you will naturally reduce the amount of packaging waste that you generate.
For more information visit http://www.TheNewIceAge.com