A-Z of Food Saving Tips

Apples

Don’t throw bruised apples away. Cut off any brown parts and chop the rest into wedges for a snack.
Stew old apples to make apple sauce or use up in a crumble. Or even add to a curry.
Always store apples in the fridge in their original packaging. They will last longer than if left out in a fruit bowl.

Avocado

Leave stone in the half you don't need and it will stop it from going brown as quickly

Bacon
Separate a large pack of bacon into slices before freezing. Then, you can just defrost what you need at a later date.
Once a packet is opened, follow the on-pack instructions about how to store it and when to use it up by.

Banana

Bananas will go black in the fridge! So instead, just keep them somewhere nice and cool. The same goes for pineapples.
Peel and freeze bananas to use later in smoothies, banana bread or add to ice cream.
Use them in curry dishes or mashed up for a quick sandwich filling.
Store away from other fruits. They make them over-ripen.

Best Before date labels

Food with a Best Before date is long-lasting. It should be safe to eat, but may not be at its best quality after this date.

Bread

Bread should not be stored in the fridge. It will actually go stale quicker in there
Keep it in a bread bin or cupboard, in the original packaging.
Use old bread for bread & butter pudding. Or bread crumbs to top a pasta bake or fish pie.
Freshen up stale bread by putting it in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Slices from a frozen loaf can be defrosted as needed or toasted straight from the freezer.
Bang the loaf gently before freezing to separate the slices!

Broccoli

Broccoli should be stored in the fridge in its original packaging, to keep it at its best.
Freshen up broccoli by placing the stem in a jar or glass of water in the fridge.
Cooked broccoli can be blitzed with milk and used as a creamy sauce for fish or chicken.
Don’t discard broccoli stalks: these are the best bits! Cut them lengthways and cook with the florets. Or use them in a soup.

Budgeting tips

Frozen fruit and vegetables can be cheaper than fresh and you only need to take what you need out of the freezer.
Tinned fish - salmon, tuna and sardines - is good for you and cheaper than fresh fish.
Stock up on store cupboard basics. Use them to stretch leftovers to create new meals.

Cereal

Once opened, seal the bag with a clip. Or use an airtight container to keep it fresh.
Use up unwanted cereal for crispy cakes.

Cheese

Keep it in the fridge. Re-close the pack tightly or wrap it in foil or put in an air-tight container.
Freeze your cheese! If you are buying a big block of hard cheese, to make the most of a bargain, grate some and freeze to use later. This is good for cheese on toast, on top of baked beans or in an omelette.
Stale, hard cheese can be grated into mash or used over pasta dishes or chilli.

 

Chicken

Chicken thighs, wings and drumsticks are a cheaper alternative to chicken breast or a whole chicken. Freeze before the Use By date for a tasty treat at a later date.
Always keep cooked meats in the fridge, well wrapped and away from raw meat.

Eggs

Eggs are best kept in their box to protect them - in the fridge.
Providing eggs are cooked through, they can be eaten a day or two after their Best Before date.
Eggs can be frozen, but you must separate yolks from whites first.
Use for a nutritious, cheap meal in an omelette, if getting close to the Best Before date.
Visit this website for more: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/eggs-nutrition.aspx

Fruit

Store fruit in the fridge, except for bananas and pineapples.
Use up wrinkly or soft fruit in smoothies.

Juice

Make your own ice lollies from leftover smoothie, or apple and orange juice.

Lettuce

Lettuce should be left in its packaging in the fridge (if it came wrapped) and in the crisper drawer - if your fridge has one.
Put lettuce leaves in a tub lined with a piece of kitchen paper to keep them fresher.

Milk

Freeze semi-skimmed milk in ice cube trays to use when you need it. You can pop them straight into your tea or coffee!
Milk near its Use By date can be used up in sauces, puddings, smoothies or custard.

Mushrooms

The best way to store mushrooms is in a paper bag in the fridge.
Fry wrinkly mushrooms in butter or oil for use as a pizza topping. Or use in stews, sauces and casseroles, or freeze them for later.

Onions

Onions are best stored in a cool, dry, dark place; ideally in a cloth bag.
Buy smaller onions. They are often cheaper and there is less waste if cooking for 1.
If you only need 1/2 an onion, chop up the rest and freeze to save time when you next need to cook in a hurry.

Pasta

Cooked too much pasta? Rinse it in cold water and freeze in meal-sized portions. This can be re-heated in a microwave when needed.
Leftover cooked pasta can be kept in a fridge for up to 2 days. It makes great pasta salad!

Peppers

Store a half pepper with the stalk and seeds still in - it will last longer.
Store them in the fridge. Always put peppers that are cut open in a storage container or bag in the crisper drawer - if your fridge has one.

Plantains

Store at room temperature until ripe, then move to the fridge. To freeze, peel and mash the plantains and sprinkle with lemon juice to stop them going brown. Put into a container or freezer bag.

Potatoes

Spuds don’t like to be kept in the fridge. Take them out of plastic bags and store them in a cool, dry, dark place; ideally in a cloth bag and away from strong-smelling foods like onions.
Use a potato peeler rather than a knife as this will cut down on waste. Or don’t peel at all; you can boil, roast or mash them with their skins on!
Keep potato peelings to make delicious home-made crisps. Add salt and pepper then bake in a hot oven.
If potatoes have sprouted, simply remove the sprouts before use, and remember to cut off any green or rotten bits before using.
Store leftover mash in the fridge until the next day. Use to make potato and fish cakes or as a topping on a cottage pie.
Leftover boiled potatoes can be added to an omelette or fried up in slices.

Raw meat

All raw meat, poultry and fish should be stored at the bottom of the fridge in a clean, sealed container to stop it touching or dripping onto other things.
Freeze it before it reaches its Use By date if you know you won’t use it up in time.

Rice

Rice should be cooked, served and eaten immediately.
Cool leftover rice by running it under cold water. This can be kept in the fridge for 1 day or frozen for use later. Always re-heat until piping hot before eating.
Add a few grains of uncooked rice to your salt shaker. This will stop the salt from getting damp and having to throw it away.

Sandwiches

Use leftover food as a sandwich filler. Even leftover curry makes a tasty sandwich filling!
Did you know you can make sandwiches from frozen bread? They will even defrost by lunchtime, keeping the filling cool.

Vegetables

Put old carrots or soft celery into a glass of water in the fridge to revive them.
Add squashy tomatoes to a chilli or pasta sauce.
Use cheap seasonal vegetables to bulk out meals.
Vegetables that are past their best will make a great soup.
Frozen vegetables from the supermarket are as healthy as fresh.

Yams

Store in a cool, dry, dark place; ideally in a cloth bag. To freeze: wash, peel and boil until tender, slice or mash and sprinkle with lemon juice to stop them from going brown. Cool and put into a container or freezer bag.

Yogurt

Yogurts and fromage frais can be frozen. Mix yogurts with over-ripe fruit, add a stick, pour into lolly moulds and freeze.
Add yogurts getting close to the Use By date to smoothies.

Use By date labels

Food with a Use By date goes off quite quickly. It can be dangerous to eat it after this date, even if it looks and smells OK.
Plan how you will use up all the food you’ve bought, before it goes out of date.

Zucchini

Grate into spag bol, chillis etc to increase the amount of veg in your families diet.
Store in the fridge and in their original packaging if not bought loose.

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