Thrifty Thursday – Leftovers & Waste

A while back I read an incredibly shocking article in the Metro. I rarely read the paper; the fact that I finished this article and re-read it several times is proof of how important its message is. 

In Britain alone, 15 million tonnes of food waste are produced each year. 

Do you find that your kitchen bin (trash can) fills up very quickly? Look at your grocery shopping bag. How many of your purchases are wrapped in plastic, carton, or come in cans? You may think you’re not producing that much waste, but take a minute to re-evaluate your situation. 

7.2 million tonnes of food waste come from households. 

We can’t just blame big food companies for wasting what they can’t sell. As a waitress, I’m always confronted with the monstrous food and drink waste at work every shift. It horrifies me. I always want to take as much of it home in a bag to eat for the rest of the week, because I was brought up not to waste. 

Do you complain that food shopping is expensive? Maybe you refuse to buy organic foods because your normal grocery shopping is already breaking the bank. What if I told you that each household wastes an average of £50 a month on food. That’s £12 billion a year by all households in the country. 

We are kidding ourselves. Supermarkets and food companies are constantly hurling “great savings” and “super offers” at us but in reality, these clever marketing tools are robbing us blind. Don’t fall for their trap! In this series, I will help you make smart choices to make real savings and still eat more healthily than you ever have 

Thrifty Tip Of The Week:
Learn to love leftovers (and alliterations!). I don’t understand why some people are so against them. I find leftovers are a great way to get creative in the kitchen: you are reinventing a meal. You could take the easy way out and throw it all in a sandwich, a wrap or pasta; or get funky and have a bubble-and-squeak type of breakfast. You’ll not only save pennies but also reduce your waste–the planet will thank you. 

Thrifty Recipe Of The Week:
Sunday Roast with leftover meals throughout the week, inspired by Jamie Oliver’s thrifty article in an issue of Jamie Magazine earlier this year.

Sunday Roast: I chose to roast a sweet potato because it has more flavour than regular potatoes and more health benefits (and it sort of caramelises when it’s roasted, yum!). The vegetables are roasted and steamed. Click here for the recipe. 

Total cost: £2.82 (for two people)

Monday Noodle Miso Soup: serves one
Ingredients: 1 packet of ribbon noodles, a handful of leftover broccoli, 2 leftover mushrooms, 25g leftover peas, 2tbsps leftover butter beans, 1 packet/1 tbsp miso paste mixed in hot water. 
Instructions: Mix the miso paste in hot water in a small saucepan, then add the other ingredients and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Serve hot. 
Cost: £2.00

Tuesday Salad: 25g kale lettuce with leftover broccoli, green beans and sweet potato chunks. Drizzle with some gravy if you like, but don’t do that before packing, because that will make the salad soggy. Serves one.
Cost: £0.43

Thrifty Challenge Of The Week:
Try one of the recipes (or all of them!), or make your own, and send me a picture or a video of it. Let me see how you get thrifty in the kitchen! And let me know how cheap your shopping was this week. 

— Clem

*** Figures are from Metro newspaper Thursday 15 March 2012. Their sources are from Defra, World Health Organization, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and Oxfam. 

2 thoughts on “Thrifty Thursday – Leftovers & Waste

  1. That's one of the joys of having a teenage boy in the house – if anyone else can't finish their dinner, he's happy to help out! 😀

    Not that I eat out at restaurants particularly often, but when I do I'm often unable to finish my meal because it's just too darn big! If there's the option to choose an entree size as a main I'll go for that, but that option isn't always available.


Leave a reply - I'd love to know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s