Keep grapefruits in the garden to save money this winter

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Recipe development manager Mimi Morley, from HelloFresh, shared her best tips on how to reduce food waste to help save money this winter.

Mimi started by saying that it is essential people plan their meals ahead and only buy the ingredients they need.

She also urged Britons to use leftovers for sauces, curries, smoothies, salads and pasta.

“For example, spice up leftover cottage pie with a spoonful of curry paste and use it to stuff pasties,” she suggested.

The expert also recommended getting creative with food waste and shared a clever food hack: “Use past their best grapefruits in your garden to attract slugs and keep them away from your plants or use eggshells in the garden as they contain a natural calcium powder that is similar to fertilisers.”

These are clever ways to make the most of the items people have in their fridges and avoid food waste while saving money on the grocery shopping bill.

Mimi also recommended storing food in optimum conditions for prolonged shelf life, taking light levels, temperature and oxygen into account.

“Recent TikTok trends show storing carrots on a bed of onion skins and taping over the top of a tomato when it’s been removed from the vine will prolong their shelf-life by weeks,” she explained.

Batch cook and freeze meals are also key as not only reduce waste, but also save people time in the future.

The food expert continued: “Take some time to understand food labelling – ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ are very different things.

“A ‘use by’ date is a firm deadline for when your food needs to be eaten, due to the risk of bacteria developing, whereas ‘best before’ means simply that; it may be past its ‘best’ but it’s likely that the ingredient is still perfectly edible.”

Mimi also suggested growing your own fruit and vegetables at home. “Even if you don’t have any outside space available, a windowsill with access to light is all you need to grow indoors.

“Then, you can plan your meals around what’s in season and pick only the ingredients you need for each meal,” she said.

Mimi also recommended, “compost the food waste you do have rather than putting in your general waste bin”.

Not only does it add nutrients to the growing fruit and veg, but it can also significantly reduce the amount of waste people send to the landfill or for incineration.

“Kitchen and garden waste like grass clippings, kitchen scraps and even coffee grounds will naturally decompose and create nutrient-rich compost that will nourish your garden,” she explained.

Finally, to reduce food waste, Britons can also “share with the neighbours”. 

The expert said: “For example, if you live alone but you’ve made a full cake, why not ask your neighbours if they’d like a slice? Suddenly you’ve reduced your food waste and you’re the most popular person on your street!”

Mimi added: “Not only will following these tips save you time and money, but they’re small steps we can all take to address the wider problem of food waste and its impact on the environment.

“Producing, moving, storing and cooking food uses energy, fuel and water which emit greenhouse gases. Reducing your food waste is a significant step in tackling climate change.”

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