How to save money, food and the environment

Whether you're trying to keep the purse strings tight or are looking for more ways to be sustainable, we've got plenty of ways you can achieve more with less food waste in 2020.

Try these simple changes and recipes to get more from your grocery shop this year and contribute to a cleaner, greener Brisbane.

Plan and pocket an extra $2000

A Sunday cook up might take you away from your latest Netflix binge, but by planning your weekly meals, writing a shopping list and doing a little meal prepping, you will not only avoid the dreaded “What’s for dinner?” question every weeknight, but also save time and money.

With research showing one in five bags of food we buy goes to waste, the simple act of planning and only buying what you’ll need for the week can save you around $2,200 to $3,800 a year. That’s a family holiday to the beach or a decent contribution to your rainy day fund!

  • Hot Tip: Keep on track by choosing meals with in-season produce and think of ways to use ingredients across multiple recipes, so you can make sure the whole pumpkin and entire head of broccoli get used up. Download our handy meal planner (PDF) to get you started.

Give leftovers a second chance

Leftovers might be the best work lunch going, but if you find yourself staring at a fridge of bits and bobs come the week’s end there’s still hope! From mini pizzas, a potato and veggie hash to rival the best cafe breakfast menu to a nourishing chickpea and mushroom feast – Love Food Hate Waste has a bank of inspiration to turn your leftovers into delicious recipes.

  • Hot Tip: If the food just needs to go, try using your local community composting hub or start your own compost pile, worm farm or bokashi bin at home to turn food scraps into nutrients for your garden.

Marie Kondo your pantry and fridge

While Brisbane’s subtropical climate might be great for outdoor adventures, it isn’t so great for food which can be easily spoiled by heat, sunlight and pesky pests. Block out a weekend morning to declutter your pantry and fridge, and spark joy by setting it up for better food storage so your food stays fresher for longer.

Reuse old jars from pasta sauce and peanut butter to store flour, nuts, spices and more. Use a chalkboard pen to label the jars with use-by dates for easy reference. 

  • Hot Tip: Save your fresh herbs from life forgotten at the bottom of the crisper. Store fresh herbs for easy use in mid-week dinners by freezing them in olive oil or melted, unsalted butter. Find more handy tips for keeping your food fresher for longer.

Take the six-week challenge

Work best with an end goal in sight? Then get ready to tackle food waste and sign on for our Six-week Food Waste Challenge. To keep you motivated, each week there’s a short video and top tips for combating food waste. From understanding what role food waste has in your household and how to plan ahead, to smart food storage, you’ll finish the challenge with less food waste and more confidence as a food waste warrior!

As the saying goes, “It won’t happen overnight…” but with small daily changes to your shopping and food preparation we can all make a difference that saves money, reduces our carbon footprint and helps the environment. What have you got to lose?

Did you know?

  • More than 26% of the average Brisbane rubbish bin is food waste?
  • Council is an OzHarvest partner, funding three dedicated rescue vehicles for an entire year? The vans will be a part of helping more than 390,000 kilograms of food be rescued from Brisbane businesses and diverted from landfill, and deliver more than one million meals to vulnerable Brisbane residents.
  • Your humble citrus scraps (think orange or lemon peel) can be turned into a beautiful household cleaner? Follow this simple recipe to make a simple and easy multi-purpose spray cleaner.

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Date posted:
Last updated:18 August 2020
Topics: green