Shop smarter, store smarter to reduce food waste
Food waste at home is caused by overbuying, cooking too much and throwing away leftovers, not using things up before they go off, and, most important of all: inadequate storage.
Pac ‘n’ Vac was set up to help people minimise food waste at home and store food more effectively and easily. These are some of our top tips for reducing the amount of food you throw away.
- Before you go shopping check what’s already in your fridge, freezer and store cupboard and ask yourself what you really need.
- Plan your meals for the week. Then write a list from your menu plan and take it with you to the shop. If you stick to the list you’ll be more likely to resist impulse buys that won’t get eaten.
- Try to buy items only when you have a plan for using them, and wait until your perishables are all used up before buying more.
- Be realistic about how much you’re actually going to cook and eat to avoid spending money on excess food.
- Buy exactly what you need. For example, if a recipe calls for two carrots, don’t buy a whole bag. Instead, buy loose produce so you can purchase the exact number you’ll use.
- Practise FIFO. It stands for First in, First out. When unpacking your groceries, move older products to the front of the fridge, freezer or cupboard and put new products in the back. This way, you’re more likely to use up the older stuff before it expires.
- Freeze food you’re not going to use within the week. Meat, fruit, vegetables, bread, milk – can all be frozen. Read how to freeze food with Pac ‘n’ Vac to save food, time and money.
- Be consistent. Create regular spots for essential items such as milk so it’s easy to recognise when they’re finished.
- If you regularly throw away stale biscuits, crisps, cereal, crackers try storing them in your Pac ‘n’ Vac containers which will keep them fresher for longer.
- Store food in the correct place in the fridge; it’s colder near the bottom so that’s where you should keep perishables like meat and dairy. Keep your fridge between 1-5°C helps you get the best from your food. If your fridge doesn’t indicate temperature, try a fridge thermometer.
- Once opened, food like cheese and ham keep better if they’re put in a vacuum-sealed container like Pac ‘n’ Vac.
- Cool leftovers as quickly as possible after cooking and store in Pac ‘n’ Vac containers. Eat within two days or freeze for another day.
- Treat expiry dates as guidelines only. For the most part, you can trust your senses to know when food has gone off. Milk, yogurt, and sauces – can all be subject to the sniff test.