Top tips to manage food waste in your home

By Judith Batchelar on 11 January 2013

Love your leftovers

There is no doubt that food waste in the home is an issue, and why we’re focused on helping our customers to waste less.

We've run several customer campaigns to help them make their food go further, including ‘Love your leftovers’ with meal idea recipe cards and food storage tips. We were the first UK supermarket to change food labels advising customers to freeze food up to a product’s ‘use by date’ instead of on the day of purchase, helping to prevent up to 400,000 tonnes of perfectly good food from being thrown away each year.

We’ve also championed ‘ugly’ fruit and veg, as a result of this year’s unseasonal weather committing to make use of all produce that stands up on taste, and encouraged customers to join us. Just a few more minutes of preparation can help us all minimise waste – after all beauty is often only skin deep!

It's inevitable you'll have some leftovers so just remember these food safety tips:

  • Refrigerate leftovers as soon as they've cooled to room temperature and store them in sealed containers
  • Eat refrigerated leftovers within 2-3 days
  • Carve the meat off bones and cut into small portions.
  • Discard uneaten leftovers once reheated

Over to you: how do you cut down on food waste in your home?

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4 comments for “Top tips to manage food waste in your home”

  • Alison Thomas11 January 2013 at 13:10:17

    Top tip is don't be fooled into buying BOGOFs unless portions make 2 meals and you can freeze one.

  • Dominique Lyons12 January 2013 at 12:41:57

    What about supermarket waste, surely that dwarves waste in the home?

  • Judith Batchelar18 January 2013 at 09:03:06

    Hi Dominique – interesting you should say that, but the opposite is actually true: Less than 5% of food waste is generated by retail, compared to nearly 50% from households. Still, we want to do our part which is why reducing food waste is an important part of our overall commitment to put all waste to positive use by 2020. We work right through our business, from our stores to working more closely than ever with our farmers and food producers. We’ve already made some good progress including sending zero food waste to landfill. My colleague Stuart Wright has written about this over on his blog (http://j-sainsbury.co.uk/blog/2012/07/our-approach-to-zero-food-waste/) and I’ve also added my thoughts here http://j-sainsbury.co.uk/blog/2012/07/what-happens-with-out-of-date-food. What’s more, we’re on track to achieve total zero waste to landfill from our convenience, main stores, offices and distribution centres by Easter 2013, which will be a very big achievement for a business of our scale. We’ll also continue to help customers reduce the waste incurred at home through campaigns like ‘Make your Roast go further’. You may also be interested in reading more about Courtauld II, which is the grocery supply chain voluntary agreement focused on reducing packaging and food waste. We were a founding member of the original Courtauld Commitment in 2005 and remain so today. At the end of last year WRAP (Waste & Resource Action Programme) outlined progress against the commitment phase 2 targets, which set out ambitious waste reduction and recycling targets for food and packaging. There has been an 8% reduction on the carbon impact of grocery packaging, and a considerable reduction in supply chain waste: 8.8% less, well ahead of the three-year target of 5% (www.wrap.org.uk/content/new-courtauld-figures-show-grocery-sector-track). Thank you for commenting!

  • cathy creighton13 June 2013 at 15:32:58

    as an irish mother i tend to make large family portions, stew. spagetti bolognaise, lasagne etc, so in the afternoon i let family or friends know that i am making dinner and that there will enough for them to eat that day or the next, it means nothing goes to waste and they do the same for me so sometimes mummy gets a day of cooking its bee working well so far!

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About the author

  • Judith BatchelarI am responsible for all our own brand products and help make Fairtrade part of the nation's everyday shopping habits.