5 Ways To Reduce Waste And Your Grocery Bill
Being a good cook is more than just being able to master recipes. It’s also about getting the most from your food, repurposing leftovers and reducing waste. According to Fasa, 10 million tonnes of food goes to waste in South Africa each year. That's one-third of the 31 million tonnes produced annually in South Africa. Of this, fruits, vegetables and cereals account for 70% of all wastage and loss.
The good news is that small changes can help make a big difference when it comes to cutting back on food waste. Below, we’ve listed a few small changes you can make to help reduce waste in your kitchen and ensure you get the most from your food!
Take an inventory of all ingredients stocked in your cupboards and fridge before going shopping to help avoid duplication. It may take time, but taking a quick inventory ahead of a trip to the supermarket can dramatically help cut down on waste.
Cook Through Your Cupboards
While taking inventory, make a mental note of all the ingredients and leftovers you’ve left sitting untouched in your pantry or fridge and challenge yourself to use them all up. Think of creative ways to cook healthy food with some of the ingredients you’d forgotten about. For example, slightly over-ripe bananas are fantastic in banana bread! Leftover stews can easily become pies if you top them with ready-made puff pastry.
Tinned lentils, beans and chickpeas are easy to transform into filling family dinners, as are grains such as rice, quinoa, millet and couscous. Here are some great Knorr ideas for cooking from the cupboard:
Quick Bean and Lentil Bunny Chow
Spicy Chipotle Bean Chilli
Easy Chickpea and Lentil Curry
Lentil and Pea Curry with Wild Rice
Simple Lentil Curry and Rice
Use Ingredients To Their Full Potential
Bones from beef, chicken or even fish can easily be used to create homemade stocks and act as flavoursome ways to enhance flavour in future stews and soups. The same applies to vegetable trimmings, such as celery leaves, onion skins and carrot tops. Tip: freeze leftover bones and veggie peelings in big plastic bags as the week goes by, then use them to make a big stock when the weekend arrives.
Recycle Organic Material
If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard or garden, consider composting your fruit and veggie peels and putting them into a compost heap or bin instead of the trash.
Sort Your Recycling
Adding the incorrect pieces of garbage into your recycling bin can cause more harm than you realise. When recycling ensure that every item is cleared of any food residue before placing it into the recycling bin. If there’s still liquid or leftover residue, ensure you rinse it out before placing it into the recycling bin. Rinse and dry items before placing them into the recycling bin.
Keep all thin plastics and foam containers ( i.e. cling film) out of your recycling as not all recycling plants are capable of processing these materials. Also remember, that if your recyclable materials are smaller than a bank card they will likely end up in the landfill or jamming the sorting equipment.