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Did you know one in five shopping bags of food we buy will end up in the bin? That’s about $2200 to $3800 your household might be throwing away each year.

You would never intentionally throw away thousands of dollars - but a couple of brown bananas here, a loaf of mouldy bread there and it all starts to add up.

How much food we are wasting

Everyone’s food waste will look different. But we know the majority of households are buying too much food, serving too much food and forgetting to eat their leftovers.

The average household will throw away $50 to $70 of food per week. This is what one week’s worth of food waste could look like:


  • Vegetables that never got cooked because you went out for dinner or got takeaway ($8)
  • Leftover takeaway that never got finished ($8)
  • Half a soft cheese you never got around to finishing ($4)
  • Half carton of cream or other condiment that went bad in the fridge ($3)
  • A half bag of leftover salad mix ($2)
  • Leftovers from a cooked meal that never got eaten ($5)

Over 12 months: $1560 or a designer handbag


  • Leftover takeaway that never got finished ($12)
  • Half a tub of hummus ($2)
  • Half an avocado ($1.50)
  • Half a loaf of bread ($2.50)
  • Uncooked chicken you forgot to cook ($8)
  • Lunch you threw away because you decided to eat out ($4)
  • That mystery meat in your freezer that’s been in there for at least a year ($8)
  • Two bananas, one broccoli and a quarter of a pumpkin ($5.20)
  • 200ml of fresh juice that never got finished ($1.25)

Over 12 months: $2311 or two smart phones

Family of four

  • Two bananas, three apples, one broccoli, three potatoes, half a bag of spinach and a quarter of a pumpkin ($11.65)
  • Leftover cooked dinner that never got eaten ($8)
  • One child’s lunch that didn’t get eaten ($3)
  • Half a box of cereal that went stale because the kids no longer like it ($4)
  • Two unfinished children’s dinners ($4.50)
  • Half tub of Greek yogurt ($4)
  • Beef mince that you didn’t get time to cook ($5.50)
  • Two half bunches of herbs that didn’t get used up ($3)
  • Half a jar of pizza sauce that never got used up ($1.10)
  • Leftover takeaway that never got finished ($12)
  • Half a tub of cream or sour cream ($1.70)
  • Flour that ended up stale or attacked by weevils ($1.50)
  • Half a packet of wraps ($2.50)

Over 12 months: $3247 or a family holiday to Bali

You may look at these lists and think you would never waste this much food.

But even if you’re only throwing away $10 worth of food a week (two bananas, half a tub of yogurt, soft cheese and dip), that’s still more than $500 a year you could put towards something else. It all adds up.

*Prices are averaged and correct as at October 2019.

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Love Food Hate Waste is here to help you start saving food and money now. Find out how you can make the change.


Last updated: 29 October 2019