Week two: Buy nothing new

This week your challenge is not to buy anything new and instead eat what's already in your fridge, freezer and pantry. 

To waste less food, you need to eat what you buy. 

Our 'buy nothing new' steps

  1. Food audit
    To complete your food audit, begin with a clean out and throw away anything that is past its expiration date. Download our free printable inventory sheets, and record what you have in your fridge, freezer and pantry. Keeping these lists up-to-date is a good way to ensure you use what you buy, particularly if you store a lot in your freezer. If you want more information on understanding 'best before' and 'use by' dates, read our smart food storage to prevent food waste page.
  2. Be creative with your cooking
    Search for recipes to use the ingredients you have in your fridge, freezer and pantry, or design your own meal to include a simple carbohydrate, vegetables and some protein. Don't be afraid to serve up unusual combinations of food. You might create a new family favourite! You could also take inspiration from the Bento Box style of eating which includes small portions of different types of foods, such as vegetables, meat, rice, pickled foods, salad and fish.
  3. Have fun
    Have fun eating the meals you create. Share your creations with us on social media at #lovefoodhatewastebne.

'Buy nothing new' meal tips

Here's some tips to help you get started:

  • Look for unidentified frozen objects (UFOs) in your freezer, it's amazing what you'll find. 
  • Build your meals around perishable ingredients in your fridge and freezer.
  • Combine bags of leftover frozen vegetables.
  • Mix different cuisines together. For example, penne pasta can be served with curried chicken. Be prepared to discover new flavour combinations.
  • Make a quiche, frittata, or fried rice to use up cooked meat and vegetables.

Now that you've gained an understanding of your family’s food behaviours and eaten your way through your stockpiled food, it’s time to implement some new food-saving behaviours! Week three of the challenge focuses on planning and shopping habits to reduce food waste.

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Last updated:9 July 2020