What to do - Fight Food Waste

Learn about what you can do to fight food waste

Food saving habits start when you


The first behaviour to fighting food waste is to LOOK

So many of us forget to LOOK at what we already have in our fridge, pantry and freezer before shopping. Consequently, we buy too much food and end up throwing it away.

The average household fridge has a lot to answer for. People shop for the week, stack the fridge and food gets forgotten – stuck in the dark corners of the vegetable crisper or hidden behind jars of jam. It’s the main reason why people waste food at home.

Before you go shopping, make sure you’ve looked in your fridge, freezer and pantry at what ingredients you have and what needs using up.

Food labels did not even exist when our Grannies were around and they would never have thrown good food away, so why should we?  Of course, we don’t want people eating mouldy food, but relying on labels alone will always lead to good food ending up in the bin.

Know the difference between use-by and best before dates.


The food supplier’s recommendation of when the product is at its ‘best’, it’s perfectly safe to eat after this date.

USE-BY = safety

The manufacturers guide to when the product should be consumed for food safety reasons. Whilst it’s not really recommended to eat food past this date, use your senses to gauge whether food is edible.

If you plan what you are going to eat over the next few days (and stick to it), food waste in your home should become a thing of the past.

You don’t have to plan meals for every night of the week. Sometimes a few good meals will go a long way. Make a plan based on:

  • who is home this week?
  • how many meals to prepare?
  • what food needs using up?
  • include a leftovers night, or a ‘cook once eat twice’ meal
  • write a list of what you need to buy


LOOK is the first step to becoming a conscientious consumer and stopping food waste before it occurs.

The second behaviour to fighting food waste is to BUY consciously

Buying too much is a regular habit in many homes, but simple things like writing a shopping list and not being tempted by offers and deals will help you to only BUY what you need.

Changing the way you shop can make a big difference. ‘The big shop’ can often result in over buying, try to shop more often and only get what you need for the next few meals.  Double check your basket at the counter, it’s better to put it back on the shelf than in the bin!

top tips: 

Buy loose fruit and veg so you can choose the right amount – look for wonky ones if you can!

Shopping with a list helps avoid buying food you won’t eat. With 1 in 5 shopping bags going in the bin, a list is the best way to ensure you only buy what you need. Include the ingredients that need using up so you don’t forget!

top tips: 

Stick to your list and don’t shop when you’re hungry!

‘Buy one, get one free’ may sound tempting, but usually leads to buying food you don’t really need.

top tips: 

Ask yourself ‘when will I eat this?

BUY what you need to save money, reduce food waste and help the planet.

Meal planner/shopping list
Meal planner/shopping list

The third behaviour to fighting food waste is to STORE food properly

STORE food properly to give it the best chance of survival.  Simple things like getting food organised, stacking your fridge correctly, using your freezer and airtight containers will help you stay on top of what you have and reduce waste.

pantry TOP TIPS:
  1. Get organised so you can see what you have at a glance
  2. Invest in good storage containers and bag clips to keep food fresh
  3. Check your pantry before shopping to avoid double ups
  4. Try using pantry items up at the end of each month

STORE food correctly to make it last longer!

fridge TOP TIPS:
  1. Move food that needs using up first to the front of the fridge
  2. Keep the fridge temperature at 4°C
  3. Pack leftovers in airtight containers (and remember to eat them!)
  4. Don’t overload your fridge so the cold air can circulate
  5. Download and use our handy illustrated guide on how to stack your fridge
freezer TOP TIPS:
  1. Food can be frozen on its use-by date
  2. Freeze food in portions
  3. Use airtight containers to avoid freezer burn
  4. Label and date freezer food so you can see what you have
  5. Defrost with care by thawing in your fridge overnight
  6. Cook from the freezer once a week

Most food can be frozen, but the quality will slowly decline over time.

STORE food correctly to make it last longer.

Fight Food Waste in the Fridge
Fight Food Waste in the Fridge

The last behaviour to fighting food waste is to COOK with everything you have

COOK is where you can become a true food waste warrior and really save food from ending up in the bin.  Be conscious of how many you are cooking for and measure out portions to avoid cooking too much.

Change your kitchen mindset from “what do you want to eat?” to “what have we got to use up?” and get ready to be creative with whatever ingredients and leftovers you have!

Food that looks a little sad or wrinkled can still be saved! Try chopping up older fruit and veg and throwing it into something delicious. Don’t let a bendy carrot, wilted herbs or bruised fruit throw you off track!

Sometimes older food just needs a new lease on life – if you are not sure what to cook, google the ingredients and see what recipes come up. Get creative and turn wilted veg into soup, bruised bananas into smoothies, anything and everything into stir-fried rice!


Cook root to stem to use it all up and watch your food go further!

We all know the feeling when we’re left with one portion of cooked veggies or leftover pasta and are not sure how to use them up. There is no reason to throw out perfectly good leftovers, just apply a bit of creativity – leftover salsa can become tomato paste, turn cooked sausages into a salad, whizz stale bread into crumbs for schnitzel… the options are endless. If in doubt, just try it out!


Plan a ‘leftovers night’ once a week or turn into a delicious work lunch

Get inspiration from our Wasty recipes to use up ingredients and leftovers.

COOK with what you have and apply the ‘use it up’ approach to make food waste a thing of the past in your home.