Much of the food we waste at home is due to cooking or preparing too much, but we can all make a difference by changing the way we make and eat our meals at home.
Measure the correct portions to prevent waste of staples such as rice, lentils and pasta. Think about how much each person will likely eat before you start cooking. Food packets often provide a suggested portion size, or see the resources section for tips.
If you do make too much, there are lots of ways to use up leftovers. Mix leftover meat or vegetables into new recipes: pies, curries and risottos all lend themselves to using up small amounts of spare food. Whizz uneaten bread crusts in the food processor to make breadcrumbs and freeze them to use later as toppings on pies. If you cook too much at mealtimes, freeze it as a ‘ready meal’ for another day. Leftovers that are too small to make a full dinner could make the perfect snack or lunch.
Next time you’re missing an ingredient from a recipe, instead of making a last-minute dash for the shops, use it as a chance to experiment. Leave things out and swap ingredients in, using your fridge and store cupboards as a source of inspiration. Remember it’s okay to break recipe rules—you may make mistakes, but you’ll also develop your cooking skills and have fun along the way.