The Fridge/Freezer challenge

January Food Challenge

We will start with a simple challenge, one which i love as it involves eating. Me and my fella do this challenge often to ensure we are not wasting food or money.

I usually call it the fridge/freezer challenge but it basically includes all food we have in the home. The principle is simple, to use up all of the food you have in the house before doing another food shop.

So that includes the random bits of peas and sweetcorn in the bottom of your freezer, perhaps a tin of soup which you bought when you had a cold but then didn't eat. Having worked in market research and had the pleasure of routing through many peoples kitchens to study their family eating habits, i know that 99% of people have things they forgot about.

So here are a few simple steps to get you started...

  • Assess what you have - Look through every cupboard, drawer etc and make a written list of what you have. Check the expiry dates as you go.

  • Make a meal plan - Use up as many items as you can. You'll be surprised how many meals you can make with what you have. Not sure what you can make? Check out Big Oven, you input your ingredients and it shows you recipe options!

  • Donate to Food Banks - Are there things you've found which you know you won't eat? Don't throw them away! Donate them to your local food bank, if you're not sure where they are here's a handy link

  • Review and reflect - You'll find that there are items which you need to top up on such as milk and bread etc. However, you'll also find there are many things you usually order that you don't miss, perhaps there were things you didn't enjoy eating. Delete these from your shopping list now! How do you feel now the cupboards etc are empty?

Doing this challenge frequently has helped me to see how swayed i can be by supermarket deals and offers, even my mood. Oranges are a thing i buy often as i fancy one but then never eat the pack. I no longer buy them and will just buy one loose if i fancy it.

Have you made any changes to your habits? Let me know how you get on whether it's a random meal you put together, some savings you made by not shopping, or the funny items you've found at the back of the cupboard you forgot you had bought.

I will share more waste reducing food related ideas across January so make sure you subscribe to our mailing list to get them.

Happy saving!

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