7 Simple Methods To Preserve Food and Reduce Waste

There’s nothing more soul-crushing than witnessing your food persh in front of your eyes. Let’s leave that in the past, here’s how to keep food fresh for as long as possible, helping you to reduce your food waste.

According to WRAP, “It is currently estimated that around half a billion tonnes of food is thrown away from homes around the world, every year.” If we all do our part we can bring this number down by a considerable amount. We have compiled a simple list of methods that can help you store food, ​​reduce food waste, save money and help the planet!

1. Meal Prepping:

  1. Make a 3 to 4 day schedule. Which meals would you or your family enjoy and be able to prepare
  2. Make a list of what is already in your kitchen and cupboards, utilise this food into what recipes you will create.
  3. Pick recipes with a few common ingredients, seasonal eating will help you save money.
  4. Leave a day blank in a simple food planner. We frequently make more than we require or our plans change.
  5. Make a schedule of which meals you’ll eat when. Start a back-up list or a Pinterest board of recipes, so you can save them for a later week.

If you’re in need of inspiration, discover our Essential Herbs Selection Box which features 5 high quality, ethically sourced herbs in jar refill sizes. Or check out our Vegan Recipes Gift Box which contains 5 main meal spice kits and serves 4 helpings, making a great gift for families.

Credits - The Teaspoon Club

2. Shop Wisely:

Make a list and keep an eye on the expiration dates. Buying in small quantities whenever possible is great as you will be more likely to use the food you’ve brought rather than having to throw it out because it may have gone off.

  1. Always go shopping with a list in hand. Lists can be made on the back of an envelope, notepads, or on your phone with the Notes app. There are also apps that let you share grocery lists with others so you can divide the bill if you live with family or roommates.
  2. If you’re tempted by a grocery bargain that isn’t on your list, consider whether the item can be utilised, frozen, or saved for later.
  3. For lesser amounts, purchase loose fruit and vegetables. Not only will they stay more fresh but you’ll be able to save some money too.
  4. In the store, look at the food labels. If you’re buying food with a short use-by date, make sure you’re going to eat it.
  5. Wonky it up. Many grocery stores now offer discounted fruit and vegetables that do not meet cosmetic criteria.

3. Where Should You Keep Your Food?

Don’t forget to keep track of where you’ll be storing your items! Food that is stored correctly might keep longer and taste better. Check that your refrigerator is at the proper temperature before you begin. Set it to a temperature of below 5°C and above 3°C.

4. Storing Advice:

Vegetables and fruits:

  1. Onions, potatoes, bananas, mushrooms and whole pineapple should be kept in a cold, dark area, not the fridge and we suggest keeping them in their original packaging or a loosely wrapped bag. Separate potatoes and onions because onions emit a gas (ethylene gas) that causes potatoes to spoil.
  2. Our Reusable Food Covers are great for preserving leftover fruit and vegetables such as half-cut avocados and onions; you can easily slip them on and know they’ll help keep your food fresher for longer.
  3. Bananas should be kept away from other fruits and vegetables. Sorry for the inconvenience, bananas! The reason behind this is ripening bananas emit a lot of ethylene gas and will cause the other fruit to spoil more quickly.
  4. Wrap salads and fresh produce in our Mesh Produce Bags and store it in the refrigerator’s bottom drawer.
  5. Refrigerate leafy greens in an airtight container in the salad drawer. The only exception is basil, which should be kept out of the fridge to avoid becoming black. On the windowsill chives, coriander, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, and rosemary herb pots should be kept away from extremes of temperature.

Carbohydrates:

  1. Bread should be stored in the cupboard. We recommend our Organic Cotton Bread Bag.
  2. Glass jars or plastic containers are ideal for storing dry items like Cereal, Grains and Pasta. This prolongs their freshness and makes it easy to see how much you have. If in need, take a look at our Glass & Wood Pantry Jars Set.
Credits - Fresh Thinking Co.

5. Labels With Dates:

The best before date refers to the quality of the item and it is still safe to eat after that date. The use-by date refers to the safety of the food. Eat before or until the expiration date.

6. Leftovers:

  1. Cool leftovers as soon as possible before storing them in the fridge (ideally within minutes). Refrigerate them after covering them, we recommend our Silicone Food Covers to cover bowls as they stretch and accommodate multiple sizes.
  2. If you’re intending to freeze leftovers, make sure they’re completely cool before placing them in the freezer. Foods can be securely preserved in the freezer for an indefinite period of time. Our Reusable Food Storage Bags are freezer safe and feature a leakproof seal and helpful measurements on the exterior.
  3. These Reusable Food Covers are another great alternative to plastic cling film or aluminum foil and come in a range of gorgeous patterns.

7. Share:

Don’t think you’ll be able to finish the food in your fridge? Consider offering it to your neighbours or friends to help reduce waste. There are an amazing range of online groups and apps such as Olio that help connect communities, businesses and neighbours so they can share surplus food avoiding unnecessary waste.

A growing number of grocery stores now have food collection banks inside their stores where you’ll be able to drop off long life food to charity.

Some food waste is unavoidable, however composting is a great option and means this food can be put to use again. It’s also worth seeing what other food waste services your local council offers.

If you’re looking for more inspo check out our post on Tips And Tricks To Make Your Food Go Further!