How much food are you wasting?

When you’re throwing food away, it’s literally money in the bin. Making the most of the ingredients you’ve got and using up as much as you can is one of the easiest ways to reduce your waste and save money on your food bills. Meal planning can obviously help with this but before trying to tackle how much food you’re wasting, it’s a good idea to take a look at what you’re throwing away and why.

A food waste audit is a review of just that. Over a period of seven days, you track your food waste as best you can. Whenever you throw food out that could have been eaten (no need to include, for example, egg shells, coffee grinds etc.), make a note of it – what was the food, how much of it did you throw out, why did you throw it out and can you estimate the cost of the food you threw out?

Be specific about the reason for throwing it out. The food may have gone mouldy or turned to mush in the bag but why did that happen? Did you buy too much, fail to store it properly, have an unexpected change of plans, forget about it, not like it/feel like eating it?

Don’t be tempted to make changes during the week based on your response to what you’re throwing out or you’ll skew the results.

Example audit
Day Food thrown out Amount thrown out Reason Estimated cost
Monday Crust of bread 1 slice Didn’t store properly £0.12
Tuesday Soup 1 portion Didn’t like it £1.50
Wednesday Salad ½ bag Plans changed £0.60

Next take a look at the trends in your audit and plan to make some changes. Start small and gradually build on the changes you’re making once they become habitual. Once you’ve made a start, and the changes become second nature, it’ll be easy to build on what you’re doing to take it even further. Repeat the audit after six months and check your progress.

For help, recipe inspiration and ideas for reducing your food waste and saving money, get in touch.

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