I hate waste, of any kind. Food waste is particularly galling. It’s money and resources down the drain, and given the current state of the planet, feels very wrong.
I was recently approached by HubbubUK, a charity creating environmental campaigns and working with my local council. They invited me, along with a number of other East Anglian bloggers/ social media folk to take part in a Food Savvy challenge to look at what we waste in terms of food and see what we could do to cut down. As part of this I’ll be testing out some products from a number of different companies, and keeping you all up to date with what I’m getting up to on social media. (I’ll be receiving the products for free, but the campaign isn’t otherwise compensated.)
Where do we start then? We’re a family of 6, two eldest children at college 2 or 2 1/2 days a week. I work part time in a charity shop, Tim works from home and the two youngest are home educated.
We try to sit down for a family meal in the evenings most days, although sometimes evening activities make that impossible. We’ve no particular dietary issues or preferences, although eldest has to keep her salt and fluids up (POTS) while Tim was briefly on blood pressure meds but succeeded in bringing that under control with lifestyle changes.
Several of the children are very picky, obviously in completely different directions, we’re on a very tight budget, and I cook from scratch where possible. (I’m particularly proud of my home made pizza, I even make my own dough. It’s also the only meal where no one turns their nose up!)
In terms of food storage, we’re tight on space. We’ve only a little freezer section under a fridge, and while I do meal plan and do a main shop weekly at Lidl, I end up topping up with frequent trips to the Coop and Tesco, both within walking distance.
(Note, this is not my family. It’s a Hubbub image 🙂 )
Hopefully that gives you some idea of our baseline, and this week I’m measuring our waste, so that we can see how much is actually being thrown out (granted usually into the compost bin but it’s still waste).
My thought is that my biggest risk areas seem to be bread, veg/fruit (carrots! How come carrots go off so quickly and meal leftovers. The problem with leftovers is that there’s rarely more than a portion, and then how do you spread that out between 6? I do a thing we refer to as eating the fridge, or fridge bottom feast every now and then, but we do end up with things that just don’t seem to fit in. Frustrating.
I’m hoping to cut down on waste, get a bit more inventive, and if at all possible cut my food budget. I currently spend around £70 a week on our main shop, and then probably 10-15 on top ups. (I’ll have a look at my receipts this week as well.)
What do you reckon to food waste – how does it all work in your home?
In case you’re wondering how the others are getting on with the challenge, I found a couple of their posts, so here’s CassieFairy explaining why she’s getting involved, and Catherine talking about some of the products she will be using.