Living on hard times, with a very delicate state economy, makes it difficult for moms and duds to support their children economically from birth till university. These difficulties are not only related to prices or fees but also to a bad expense management from the households (no offense). Did you know that an average family wastes £700 worth of good they first buy and then throw away, in a year?
Knowing that, we organized a team of parents here at Love Food Hate Waste to bring up a list of 30 tips on how to avoid wasting this much and save money instead.
1) Wonder how to make a perfect snack for your children (or even grownups)? Use frozen fruits like grapes, bananas and peas with yogurt. It is cheap and healthy.
2) There is no need to pay lots of money to spend lots of money on expensive child food. You can just mash up some cooked vegetables and freeze it in small quantities.
3) Summertime treats? Yes, kids can’t have enough of them. You can use some frozen yogurt and fruits with straws or in a lollypop stick and you’re ready to go. It is a perfect add on to the lunch box as well, it will defrost till lunchtime.
4) What’s Fast and easy? Pizza dough. You can make it yourself at home and divide it in smaller portions to keep in the freezer until when you actually plan to use them.
5) Do you feel like there are a lot of vegetables that are going bad in the fridge? It’s time to make a stew or some sauce. It will taste delicious; you have one less meal to think of and also save from not wasting your fridge’s content.
6) Sometimes kids are not so found of mealtime. Make it enjoyable and show them how you and them enjoy the same food.
7) You can save and have time at the same time. Cooking simple dishes might be the happiest family time! Use that pizza dough you had stored in the freezer and play with the topping. Let the kids get out of whatever is left in the fridge and decide how to finish the pizza. They love the strangest combinations.
8) Another simple yet very useful meal would be topping of toasted oats or crackers. They are great and quick in the oven.
9) Be smart! Keep at least one ice cube of milk. Mornings are very important and you don’t want to start your day without some milk in your coffee or tea just because there isn’t some!
10) Why spending lots of money on sandwiches and snakes when you are out in the park or at the zoo? Take a snack bag and place anything easy and tasteful like raisins, chopped fruit, nuts etc.
11) Throw an aperitivo night with friends or family using those leftovers you placed in the freezer!
12) Lots of cake leftovers? Broken biscuits and pieces of fruits screaming on the counter? Lay them down under some yogurt and make a surprise pudding for your kids.
13) Don’t use big fancy plates and separate bowls. You’ll tend to pour more food than needed to fill them up. Use smaller plates instead. It will save you from bog waste.
14) Use big mugs instead of bowls for morning cereals and milk. It will make you serve less of each and save from useless waste.
15) When you serve mashed potato, use an ice – cream spoon instead of the usual big one.
16) If it’s springtime and you feel like having a picnic on the grass, throw a blanket and serve those leftovers you placed in the freezer two days ago, before totally forgetting about them.
17) When you cook, try to involve your children in it, by creating funny games or contests since you return from the supermarket and ask them to place fruits and vegetables where they belong, after washing and rising, until you ask them to take out ingredients and dishes to prepare lunch or dinner. It will make them love food even more and educate them towards less waste.
18) Allow your children to pour the food themselves in their plates. They will get as much as they feel they need and you will avoid waste.
19) When you end up having leftover cake, don’t throw it. Put it in the freezer in small portions and use it as an additional element to the lunchboxes.
20) Did you buy a lot of cheese or ham? Prepare sandwiches and place them in the freezer. They will come in handy for the days out of the lunchboxes and you will avoid having food that’s gone bad.
21) Did your kid eat just a small piece of an apple? Don’t throw the rest. Food pieces can be used later as snacks, for a fruit salad or jam.
22) Have your cornflakes or rice krispies gone soft due to extended air exposure? Don’t throw them; they will make excellent chocolate crispy cakes.
23) Lots of leftover cake? Mash it up and roll it in melted chocolate. Place a lollypop stick and be a super mom.
24) Make smoothies or banana loafs out of frozen bananas.
25) Turn food into a mysterious adventure for your kids to love. Ideas? Here’s one: a giant volcano made from mashed and baked beans. How about that?
26) When you notice an offer of the most common product you use like pasta or corn flakes, get usage of it. Buy as many as possible and avoid temptation from offers on products you almost never use!
27) Do you know that a simple gesture like placing a lid on top of a pan will make the food cook faster and save you on energy spent?
28) Most of the people as terribly scared to use food after the “best before” date. They think it means that the food has gone bad. Well no. It is not related to the safety part rather than on the quality one. It may just mean that the food will not taste at its best. So think twice and maybe taste it yourself before throwing this kind of food away.
29) To avoid throwing away food or juices just because you think they may have gone bad, place an ‘opened on’ label to them. This way you will be able to figure out what to do with them.
30) Agreeing on having at least one “eating from the freezer” night might help on using those leftover that do not need to be forgotten.