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SOME PRE-CHRISTMAS SHOPPING TIPS

December 12, 2012

What you buy matters – reducing food waste matters too and begins before you even go shopping.

You can see people every day in the run up to Christmas loaded up with food – decanting it out of their cars and so stressed in case they’ve missed something – I know because I used to do it myself.

Trying to nab one of the precious Christmas Eve delivery slots from Sainsburys or Tesco – one year we stayed up till midnight when the slots should have been released only to find they were immediately blocked out and had been allocated to certain “preferential” customers – the Internet was red hot with complaints to Tesco that year and I never ever tried it again!

What a difference a year makes!

At this time of year especially it’s worth thinking about your shopping even that little bit more to reduce waste. If we all buy what we need and then eat what we buy it would really make a difference. Always have a plan and a list before going shopping. Check your pantry and fridge before you leave home to make sure you’re buying what you really need. Otherwise you will be tempted to buy unnecessary items.

Since we’ve stopped using supermarkets we waste much less because we don’t overbuy and we make the most of what we’ve bought.

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Cooking with tinned and frozen fruits and vegetables: Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables can be a good solution if you aren’t sure you’ll be able to use up fresh foods before they go bad. If you’re on a tight budget they can be more affordable than fresh and are very nutritious.

This is a good website for canned food recipes

Keep your pantry or food cupboard well-stocked – this is the best way to be able to produce a tasty meal from food that might otherwise go to waste.

Use up fresh fruit before it goes bad. For example you could mix fruits into a fruit salad or top cereal with sliced fruit. Cook berries, apples or pears into a crumble or sponge pudding. Or use overripe fruit in muffins, breads, or pancakes.

Blueberry pancakes - fresh or frozen could be used

Blueberry pancakes – fresh or frozen could be used

A few chefs have been on TV recently showing how to transform leftovers into a new meal: for example leftover mashed potatoes into tasty potato cakes or leftover veg into a hearty soup by combining them with stock and perhaps some lentils or barley.

Dahl Soup

Dahl Soup

I know some of this is pretty basic if you’re already sold on the Shop Local, support your independent supplier route but if everyone did it the amount of food wasted could be drastically reduced. As I’ve said before – a better way to use the phrase “Every Little Helps”!

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