The end of the year is one of those times when we often get together with our friends and family and spend some quality time together. Such occasions typically involve a special meal and perhaps a glass or two of our favourite tipple. While we enjoy indulging, it’s important we don’t get wrapped up in all the holiday cheer and end up revelling and needlessly wasting gifts, food and drink.
The BBC recently reported that the cost of Christmas dinner has gone up by 14% in the UK from last year, while the Guardian stated that savvy supermarket shoppers can get their Christmas dinner for just £20.
According to the Telegraph, the average British family spends around £800 on food and decorations over the festive season and one in five will pay for their Christmas food on credit. Australia is expected to spend $19 billion on food over the holiday season nationally.
Whether you pick up a bargain or pile on the luxury for the holiday season, too much food is wasted and the festive season is no exception; in fact, at this time of giving, it’s even more prevalent.
Over shopping, cooking more food that is required to feed family and friends, and not making good use of the leftover food means food waste at Christmas is a huge issue.
FoodCycle claim that in the UK we waste “5 million Christmas puddings, 2 million turkeys, and 74 million mince pies, not to mention huge amounts of vegetables, fruit and snacks” every year.
Campaigns run by Love Food Hate Waste and the Food Standards Agency have loads of tips to help us all ensure we don’t waste food unnecessarily over the holiday period and make the best of any leftover food.
Here’s a few tips to help you survive the Christmas period waste free:
- Plan the meals you’re going to have over the festive period and shop accordingly
- Free up some space in your freezer now for your turkey leftovers
- If you’re cooking turkey from frozen, make sure you give it plenty of time to defrost, you don’t want to get sick and ruin all the fun
- Cook any leftovers into meals, package into meal portions and store in the freezer