Festive food

One in three of us think we waste more food at Christmas than at any other time! But there’s no need. Love Food Hate Waste can help make sure you buy just the right amount and all your festive food get eaten.

Eat, drink and be merry! That’s the order of the day at Christmas – a time to indulge, treat yourself, and forget about your worries for a few days.

Of course, this means that many of us buy foods at Christmas that we wouldn’t necessarily have all year round… foods that we might not be sure of the best way to store, or how long they will last, or how to use up certain leftovers.

We also often end up buying more than we need as we’re cooking for more people than normal or simply to make sure we have enough in the house for unexpected guests.

Avoiding food waste remains important all year round, and saving money is especially important in the run up to Christmas which is why Love Food Hate Waste has all the information and tools you need to make sure you’re making the most of all your festive foods.

Buying good food and drink which is then thrown straight in the bin currently costs a typical household £470 a year, rising to nearly £700 for a family. Don’t let it hit you in the pocket – especially at Christmas, an expensive time for all of us.

The Freezer – your festive friend

You’d be amazed at how many foods you can freeze. And you can freeze food right up until the use by date – so if you’ve spotted something in the fridge that’s just about to go over its date, you’ll be able to extend its life by popping it in the freezer!

Did you know you can freeze all of these foods?

  • Dad and child save leftover foodPotatoes and other root vegetables – just blanche in boiling water for a few minutes, cool, and freeze in bags or tubs
  • Hard cheeses – it’s very tempting to splurge on lots of yummy cheese at Christmas, but it doesn’t always get eaten. Thankfully, cheddar and parmesan can be grated and stilton crumbled before popping in the freezer – then add straight into soups, pasta, lasagne, gratins – the possibilities are endless!
  • Lemons – got lemons about to go past their best? Slice them up and freeze, they make refreshing ice cubes for your New Year parties!
  • Leftover roast meat – don’t let it go to waste, pop it in the freezer then use it again in a tasty pie or curry.
  • Fresh herbs – add them to oil and/or butter then freeze to use again another time
  • Bread – when buying bread over the Christmas holidays, remember to put some straight into the freezer. It keeps perfectly for when it is needed, and you can use a sliced loaf at breakfast by toasting slices straight from frozen.

Watch this neat video with even more surprisingly freezable foods.

And don’t forget to eat from the freezer in the run up to the big day, freeing up space for all those tasty leftovers!

Plan your perfect Christmas

Some simple, quick planning before the chaos begins will mean that you have just the right amount of food for the festive period. It needn’t be boring – get the family involved and see how much money you can save by only buying food that will get eaten. And if you’re smartphone-savvy, there’s a handy meal planner on the Love Food Hate Waste app – it’s free to download so you’ve got nothing to lose.

If you’re not sure how much food to buy check out the Love Food Hate Waste portion calculator. The calculator helps work out how many sprouts, roasties and turkey might be needed. Simply tick the each type of food you want – select chicken as equivalent for turkey – and how many adults and children will be around the festive table.

Buying the right size turkey will reduce defrosting and cooking time. A 1kg bird will feed 4 adults and 4 children, and leave plenty of room in your oven for roasties.

Make sure you write a shopping list as well before you hit the shops – and stick to it – this will make sure you’re not tempted to buy things you don’t need. But if you are – check the date & storage guidance and plan them into your meal to ensure they get eaten

Watch top planning tips in this video.

Getting creative with Christmas leftovers

Christmas pudding strudel and custardFor anything that’s left over, get creative! Christmas can generate some delicious leftovers to be turned into tasty new dishes. If you come up with a delicious new creation, take a pic and let us know! You can get in touch with us via email.

Here are some of our top recipes for using up festive favourites:

Check out more cool tips for longer lasting food.

Have a great Christmas!