Last year food waste cost the Herefordshire taxpayer around £1.35m in landfill tax payments. Research from the Waste Resources Action Programme also shows that an average family could save up to £700 a year by taking a couple of simple steps to reduce the food they throw away.
Taking advantage of the advice on offer and reducing the food waste you produce means that in just a few weeks you could have extra cash in your pocket to put towards a holiday or the latest must-have gadget.
Small changes can make a big difference. The Love Food Hate Waste campaign, backed by Herefordshire Council, offers five sure-fire ways to help keep pounds in pockets without cutting down on your indulgence or fun.
- Get familiar with the fridge and friendly with the freezer – With meat, fish and ready meals being the most expensive items that end up in bins it pays to check the 'use by' dates to cut what ends up in the bin. Transferring items to the freezer is a simple way to ensure you get your money's worth and being clued up on the differences between 'best before' and 'use by' labels also pays dividends.
- Get Store cupboard savvy – Having a well-stocked cupboard and kitchen with a variety of canned, dried and frozen family favourites, which have a long shelf-life, means ingredients are to hand to put together a delicious dish or jazz up leftovers. The money-saving trick lies in replacing items so it's always worth having a pad or post-it note handy to scribble down a list ahead of the next shopping visit.
- Control those carbs and plan your portions – Every day basic staples, such as pasta, bread, rice and potatoes end up going straight in the bin. Why? Simply because we get portion sizes wrong. The online Portion Calculator is a fantastic way too get your portions right every time.
- Lovely Leftovers – There's no better way to save the pennies than being crafty with your leftover food. With a little bit of thought everyone can be a budding Jamie Oliver and knock up delicious dishes from leftovers. There are lots of great ideas for recipes on the web.
- It pays to plan – It's simple but fantastically effective. Planning ahead and making a shopping list cuts waste and food bills. Getting the family involved in planning what meals they'd like during the week is another top tip.
To help Herefordshire residents the free to download Love Food Hate Waste App contains a host of handy features at the touch of screen. These include the 'My Kitchen' section that allows users to store details of all food in fridges, freezers and cupboards, along with adding 'use by' reminders.
It also has a handy portion planner, hundreds of great recipe tips and shopping list that issues an alert if you have duplicate ingredients.
Cllr Bramer, cabinet member contracts and assets said: "It seems crazy to say that some households are throwing away the equivalent of two SmartPhones or even a family holiday into the bin each year. Alongside this, millions of tax payer's money is being spent by the council to send what was once perfectly good food to landfill. This is cash that could go on towards maintaining services for residents.
"Keeping money in our pockets is something I'm sure everyone is interested in and research shows some homes could be saving £60 a month by making just a few small changes.
"It seems silly not to start taking advantage and saving cash by cutting what ends up in the bin."