Make the change

Food waste is ultimately a result of buying too much and cooking too much, and when we throw away uneaten food, we are throwing away money. At the time it may not seem like much – $1 here and $5 there – but over the year, it can add up to a whopping $3800. Making your dollar go further is easy with our simple tips.

Plan

  • Reducing your food waste starts before you even leave home, by making a plan. Use our meal planner (PDF - 3.45Mb) to plan what you’ll eat for the week ahead but remember to keep it simple to work around your lifestyle and commitments
  • When planning your menu, consider what you can do with the leftovers
  • Use-up what you have in your fridge freezer and pantry by building these ingredients into your meal plan
  • Write a shopping list with specific quantities (e.g. three tomatoes) to help you avoid over-buying

Shop

  • Stick to your shopping list (PDF - 3.45Mb). You’ll be surprised how much money you will save if you can resist impulse purchases
  • Avoid 2-for-1 specials on perishables unless you have a firm plan to use them before they spoil
  • If possible, shop more frequently so you can purchase smaller quantities of fresh produce

Store

  • Storing food correctly means you’ll make the most out of your food by keeping it fresh and safe to eat for as long as possible
  • Know the difference between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates so that you don’t throw food away unnecessarily. For more information visit our Love Food Hate Waste smart food storage page
  • Rummage through your fridge every two-three days to remind yourself of what’s in there, so that you can plan to eat things that will soon go bad
  • Check your fridge is functioning at maximum efficiency (between 1-5 degrees Celsius) to ensure food stays fresh for as long as possible
  • Create an ‘eat me first’ section in your fridge and move items that are close to their expiry date to this section
  • Store bread items in the freezer to extend their life
  • Store leftovers so you can see them, and they don’t get forgotten about
  • Adjust your fridge's crisper drawer humidity levels to suit your produce. For more information on using your crisper wisely, visit our Love Food Hate Waste food storage page

Cook

  • Exercise portion control (PDF - 3.49Mb) by using smaller plates and allowing people to serve themselves
  • If you do cook too much, don’t just put leftovers in the fridge to be forgotten. Consider freezing your leftovers for easy dinners or hassle-free lunches
  • Follow your meal plan and avoid the takeaway trap. One unplanned takeaway night could mean fresh food wasted
  • Prep some ingredients from your menu plan in advance by washing, chopping and storing veggies in airtight containers as soon as you get home from the shops
  • Think of them as ‘ingredients’ not ‘leftovers’ and increase your food’s potential. Roast vegetables can become ingredients in a quiche, salad or pasta sauce. The opportunities are endless
  • Batch cook or meal prep meals, date them and freeze them. Pasta sauces, soups and casseroles are just some of the meals that can be defrosted easily when you are time poor and will prevent you falling into the takeaway trap
  • Frozen food quality begins to decline over time, so make sure you use up your frozen food

Unavoidable food waste

Some food waste is unavoidable. You can help reduce waste to landfill by recycling your food scraps like fruit and vegetables peels and coffee grinds. Learn more about organic recycling.

Last updated:30 October 2019