The cost of our food can be high in New Zealand yet we also waste a lot of our food. To be precise, we waste the weight of 213 jumbo jets in food, equivalent to $872m annually. However, there are ways you can help reduce your weekly food bills and wastage by being prudent with your choices in brand, seasonal availability and resourcefulness. To help you out with some tips on how to make that food shop go further, we’ve compiled a handy list:

  • Take stock –  Know what you already have in the cupboards and use it – use recipes with ingredients based around the staples you already have in the fridge and freezer. There’s nothing worse than getting home and finding you already had those tinned tomatoes!
  • Batch cook – it’s cheaper per item to cook more. If you have the time, make more than you need and freeze batches of your favourites.  And having casseroles or soups on hand also reduces your need to spend time cooking midweek.
  • Eat your leftovers –  save them, dress them up & repurpose them as a new meal, eat them for lunch the next day… just don’t chuck them out. There’s nothing more wasteful than throwing out perfectly good food.
  • Use all the vegetable (if you can) – broccoli and cauliflower stalks are edible. You can chop them up Julien style and add them to a stir-fry or make cauliflower rice. They will bulk out your meal and push the portions further, and they’re full of the same nutrients the top bits are.
  • Bulk out – things like Bolognese or chilli can be bulked out with extra veg, beans or pulses for additional portions to make your meal go further, and if you’re okay eating the same meal twice in a week, you’re saving yourself a night of cooking and extra dishes.
  • Freeze food to save waste – this handy infographic tells you how long you can keep certain foods for in the freezer, as long as you get them in there before the expiry date.
  • Go for own-brand or value brands – the next time you’re in the supermarket and you’re looking at a brand of something, compare the ingredients and volume of an own or value brand version of the same product. You never know what you could swap out, product for product, without compromising on quality.
  • Love Food Hate Waste – has a great selection of recipes and more tips on how to save when it comes to doing your food shop. Have a look and see what other choices you could be making that can help you reduce your food bill and your waste!

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