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Stop Food Waste and Save Money

In the past parents would encourage children to eat all of their food off the plate, as it was a waste of money to throw it away as most families couldn't afford it.

Nowadays adults and children in developed countries are developing more bad eating habits from changing diets and an increase of fast food and processed foods which are causing extreme health problems such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and allergies. In addition there is an astounding 50% of the food produced thrown away and wasted, yet there are parts of the world where children are starving.

The food waste counts for one of the biggest sources of waste filling up landfills and incinerators. So a high percentage of the world is going hungry and the other half is wasted and along with this the population is growing demanding more food!

Can you really afford to be throwing food away?

Here we take a look at ways you can avoid food waste and not only help your finances but help the planet for our children’s future.

Try to eat less meat. There is a huge amount of land, water and fossil fuels required to produce meat in particular beef and the main cause for clearing forests. Replace meat burgers with alternative recipes using food from the lower food chain such as chicken or turkey or opt for the vegetarian choice of soya products that need much less water to grow. There are lots of other veggie ingredients you can use and most can be a great deal healthier and still tasty.

If you enjoy a roasted joint of meat make sure you use every scarp of it. Use the leftovers for stir fry’s, casseroles, sandwiches and boil the bones for soups or stock. Freeze if not using immediately.

Only buy what you need, sometimes daily shopping can be easier than weekly as it allows you to buy smaller amounts. If you shop weekly make a menu for the week and keep a shopping list and stick to it. This will not only reduce the food wasted if you have bought too much but also cuts the cost of the weekly shopping bill. Food products that are nearing their expiry - freeze, it is amazing today what you can freeze.

Make sure you have plenty of plastic reusable containers to freeze leftover dinner or surplus food from dinner parties. Perishable fruits and vegetables can be pureed or froze for later uses in smoothes, soups, crumbles and pies. Make sure you label it before you freeze food.  Chutneys and pickles are a great way to use vegetables that are soft, simply cut the bad bits out and use the best.

It is a great way to invent new dishes, and the internet is excellent source for finding new recipes. It is also a good idea to familiarise yourself with food labelling such a 'use by' and 'sell by'. If something smells and looks bad then bin it, but just try to reduce the waste from the dining table, and help the environment and your bank balance.