8 food waste hacks: never throw food away again

Filed in Blog by on September 7, 2010 4 Comments
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Put food in your stomach, not in the landfill

Put food in your stomach, not in the landfill

Welcome to day two of National Zero Waste Week. Yesterday I shared my nifty tool which can help you put an end to food waste forever. Brian Turner CBE shared his favourite zero waste recipe along with his thoughts on best before dates.

Today I’ve put together some handy tools to help you reduce your food waste. We’ve talked about some of them on the site before, but here’s a reminder.

Please feel free to add your own suggestions to the comments:

Still Tasty?

Still Tasty promises to deliver the answers to all your questions involving food safety and storage. You’ll discover whether to keep or toss ingredients depending on how old they are and you’ll learn the best way to store things for maximum freshness. Can you keep potatoes in the fridge? Find out here!

Use by and Best before

Comfused about use by and best before dates? Discover once and for all what these dates mean in terms of food safety and find out whether it’s ok to eat foods past these dates.

Stuck for inspiration?

If you have a bit of this and a soupçon of that hanging around in the fridge, but your inspiration has gone AWOL, then Supercook is for you. Head over to the site, enter all the friendless looking ingredients you have in your home and you’ll be rewarded with a long list of recipes to choose from.

Resourceful cook

Do you wish you were able to make more of your ingredients AND stick to a budget? A brand new website called Resourceful Cook is here to help!. Resourceful cook is a free meal-planning website. Their meal plans only ever use fresh ingredients in amounts that match the pack sizes available in the shops which means no waste!


Chris Baskind, over on More Minimal found some free printable freezer labels to help avoid UFOs (unidentified frozen objects) lurking in your freezer. If you’re a wannabe Martha Stewart, here’s a simple way to start.

Can you freeze it?

Ever wondered if you can freeze yogurt, eggs, cheese or anything else? Arctic Aunt has the answers to all these questions and will help you put any myths to bed. If you’re query isn’t on there you can ask her to respond on the site.


Repeat after me – There is no such thing as leftovers, only ingredients. Find out how to give your ingredients a new lease of life with the Love Food Hate Waste recipes database.

Ask Maisie

Our very own Maisie wrote a great post last year sharing her valuable food preparation ideas. Find out how she keeps food in tummies and out of the landfill with her tips for reducing food waste.


Joanne Boardman,  Waste Minimisation Officer for North East Lincolnshire Council, told me that National Zero Waste Week sits conveniently alongside their launch of the 10:10 campaign. The Recycling team will be in the Renaissance shop on Victoria Street, Grimsby ready to show you how to waste less, not only in the kitchen, but also around the house and in your car! The shop will be open Monday 6th – Saturday 11th from 10am-4pm

Pop in to see them, enter the fab competitions, and meet some of Grimsby Town’s footballers!

Meanwhile on the web …
Find out how Erica from The Green Familia got on with her first zero waste week challenge. What was she going to do with her glut of courgettes, beans and apples from the allotment?
Whitney from Cafe Direct was planning on using up fruits as well. Check out her lovely sounding recipes for apples, bananas and berries.
Mummy Zen has been doing some menu planning to reduce her food waste. Take a peek at her recipe ideas for the week.

Are you signed up to take part in National Zero Waste Week? Join our participants and be in with the chance of winning some fantastic prizes. This afternoon I’ll be sharing our ‘use it up!’ meal for yesterday.

National Zero Waste Week is sponsored by Tetra Pak. Tetra Pak cartons are widely recycled across the UK with over 86% of Local Authorities collecting cartons for recycling.

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (4)

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  1. Jeni says:

    Having been brought up with rationing I use leftovers regularly. Every six weeks or so I will have a no shopping week, just buy fresh bread, eggs & milk. Then I use everything I have in stock, including my store cupboard, fridge & freezer.

    A favourite recipe I have used for years to use up leftover roast meat & veg. Lamb works best but anything goes. In a large saucepan fry some onion or leeks, add shredded cabbage, chopped carrots and just about any other veg. Add a tin or two of chopped tomatoes. Then add very finely sliced meat & season. If it is too dry add a little water, I also add any herbs available & particularly like to add caraway seeds. Cook slowly on top of the stove with a lid on, check it doesn’t dry out by adding more water, for about 40 minutes. This was a favourite with my children when they were living at home and my husband loves it.

  2. Mrs Green says:

    @Jeni: Hi Jeni; I think it’s a great idea to have a six weekly ‘buy nothing’ week – I think I might try that myself; thanks for the inspiration 🙂 Thanks for sharing your lovely sounding recipe too!

  3. Mummy Zen says:

    Some great resources here! I usually call or email my mum when I’m unsure if it’s ok to freeze a certain food or meal so I like the sound of Arctic Aunt. Thanks for linking to my meal planning too 🙂

  4. Mrs Green says:

    @Mummy Zen: No problemo; hope Arctic Aunt is able to help!

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