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Top tips to reduce your food waste

From loving your leftovers to getting organised in the kitchen, follow our simple tips to help reduce food waste in the home and help lessen your impact on the environment 

Food waste matters

9.5 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK each year causing around 25 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – the same as 10 million cars.

An estimated 6.4 million of this wasted food is edible. 71% of this waste takes place in people’s homes. Taking simple steps can help reduce food waste and have a positive impact on the environment. Reducing food waste is also good for our pockets – £730 per year could be saved by the average UK household by reducing food waste. 

At M&S, we’ve committed to halve food waste (against a 2017/18 baseline) by 2030 in our owned stores in the UK and ensure 100% of our edible surplus food is redistributed by 2025.

Find out more here


How to reduce food waste at home

1. Get your kitchen ready
Organise your cupboards and fridge so you can see what you’ve already got. Bring food that needs using first to the front. 

2. Write a meal plan
Decide what you want to cook and when, and the ingredients you need. Check the fridge and freezer and ask yourself what you really need, then think about what you’re going to eat for the week and write a list. Click here for more meal planning tips.

4. Get label savvy
Food past its best before date is still good to eat, provided it looks and smells good. Use-by relates to food safety and food past its use-by should not be eaten, unless frozen before this date.

Handy tips with leftovers 

1, Cook for tomorrow too
You can cook enough for the meal you’re about to eat or prepare more and then fridge or freeze it to save time another day. This portioning guide will help you make sure that not one grain of rice or roast potato goes to waste.

2. Stretch day
Check your cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what you’ve already got. Use what you have in then make a tasty meal or snack from it.

3. Love your leftovers
Cool leftovers as quickly as possible. Then store them in the fridge or freezer (if saving for a later date). Eat within two days if stored in the fridge and reheat until piping hot – or reinvent them to create a new meal.

Four ways to love your leftovers 

Spring frittata

Fridge-raid frittata 

Use up leftover green veg, cheese and eggs by making a delicious frittata. Simply whisk the eggs, then add seasoning and cheese. Pour the egg mix into a lined baking dish and top with your chosen green veggies and extra cheese. Bake in the oven for 15 mins until it’s firm around the edges with a slight wobble in the middle.


Berry crumble

Fruity crumble 

If you have fruit in your fridge slightly passed its best, use it to make an epic fruit crumble. Simply place the fruit (berries, apples and pears all work well) in a baking dish and add a sprinkle of sugar and maybe some spices. Top with homemade crumble made with flour, sugar and oats. Bake until the crumble topping is golden and the fruit has softened. 

Bubble and squeak brunch

Bubble and squeak brunch 

Don’t bin those delicious roast dinner leftovers! Use leftover mash and green veggies to make a bubble and squeak. Simply mix the mash with the veg, then heat a frying pan with oil. Press the mix in the pan and fry until golden. Serve with an oozy poached egg and sliced tomatoes. 

Bread and butter pudding

Brilliant bread and butter pudding 

Got some bread lurking in the bread bin? Transform it into a family favourite bread and butter pudding. Simply slice the bread, butter and cut into triangles. Arrange in a greased baking dish buttered side up, then top with your choice of dried fruit and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Make a light custard, then pour the custard over the bread. Sprinkle with sugar and bake until golden brown.


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