Are you throwing your money away?

The cost of living crisis means many of us are seeking ways to save money this winter, yet each year the average family is throwing around £700 in the bin. Are you throwing your money away?

On average, Brits throw away 6.6 million tonnes of food a year, of which 4.5 million tonnes is edible. These figures are based on recent food waste data from WRAP, a charity which aims to reduce waste and promote efficient use of resources. Check out the ten most wasted food and drink items in UK homes below:

The ten most wasted food and drink items in UK homes

  • Potatoes (fresh)
  • Bread
  • Milk
  • Meals (homemade and pre-prepared)
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Fruit juice and smoothies
  • Pork, ham and bacon
  • Poultry (chicken, turkey and duck)
  • Carrots (fresh)
  • Potatoes (processed)

Our top tips to help you and your family cut down on food waste.

  • Know when to throw it out – It’s important to appreciate the difference between the use by and best before dates on food packaging. That way you can avoid food poisoning and throwing away products that are still okay to eat.
  • Understand what use by and best before dates mean – Use by dates are about safety. They are applied to food that goes off quickly and could cause food poisoning after a short period of time, such as fresh fish or ready to eat salads. The food will be unsafe to consume after the date. The product’s life can be extended by freezing, although you need to do this before the use by date expires. Best before dates are about quality not safety. The food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best. These appear on a wide range of products including frozen, dried and tinned foods.
  • Don’t double up – Write a shopping list or use your phone to take a picture of what is in your fridge or cupboards, so you don’t buy something you’ve already got. If weekly meal planning doesn’t appeal to you, plan for five nights and give yourself the opportunity to have a takeaway or meal out or get something out of the freezer.
  • Find companies that can help – Too Good to Go is one of a growing band of companies focused on tackling the huge quantities of food waste. The company allows people to buy discounted food from restaurants and shops, while other services, such as Olio, help people rehome unwanted food from their fridge.

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