We spend, on average, £169 on our Christmas food and drink but at the same time we’re wasting £50 a month throwing away good food. So this year make the most of Christmas with Love Food Hate Waste.
We all love food at Christmas; it’s one of the things that makes the festive season special. And in the UK Christmas shopping baskets contain not only 10 million turkeys but around 370 million mince pies and 25 million Christmas puddings.
Then there’s all that fabulous food when we eat out - at office parties and celebrations with family and friends.
Have a well-planned, money-saving Christmas
Count down to Christmas by eating food from the freezer. It clears space for leftovers and makes use of what’s already there, saving money in the run up to the celebrations.
If you’re used to cooking for a small number of people and need to cater for a party, why not use the Love Food Hate Waste on-line portion tool.
Enter the food you’re planning to cook and the number of people coming to eat. The portion calculator does the rest, letting you know how much to buy and prepare. And to help with festive planning there are two versions, one for everyday foods and the other for parties. Don’t forget to eat any leftovers next day or freeze for another time.
Before you go shopping it’s worth checking your cupboards and freezer to see what’s there. Making a simple meal plan is really helpful too, especially at this time of year when you’re busy and may be catering for extra people.
Make a shopping list so you only buy what you need. And if there are tempting Christmas offers and festive treats, don’t forget to freeze them if you don’t get round to eating them.
You can freeze almost any food. If it’s got a ‘use by’ date freeze before the date, defrost and use it within 24 hours.
· Stilton freezes really well without grating and can be defrosted for the cheese board, a quiche or soup.
- Potatoes can be parboiled, covered in fat and frozen. Roast from frozen.
- Cooked meat, including turkey and ham can be frozen. Thaw in the fridge overnight and use in casseroles, curries and stews.
- Frozen bread can be toasted straight from the freezer and tastes as good as when it’s fresh.
Love Food Hate Waste has loads of ideas for using up leftover food this Christmas:
· Sick of Christmas pudding? Try turning it into a tasty strudel.
· Loads of sprouts left? Use them with leftover roast or boiled potatoes to make bubble and squeak. Simply chop and fry together in a pan with some butter.
· Wondering what to do with all that turkey and ham? Make a turkey, ham and leek pie.
· Bought too much mincemeat? Heat a small amount in a pan and spoon over ice-cream for an alternative Christmas pudding.
Christmas is a great time to indulge. Whether it’s a traditional turkey roast with all the trimmings, mince pies with lots of cream or a sherry trifle - treats help brighten the dark December days.
Love Food Hate Waste has some great indulgent festive recipes. If time’s running out try the last minute Christmas cake, use up cranberries in cranberry brownies or make an easy chocolate mayonnaise cake.
Eating out at Christmas
The best thing about eating out is not having to cook and being able to forget about the washing up! Ordering the right amount to make sure we eat up all of the food is a great way to show how much we appreciate a meal.
If you do eat out, don’t forget to plan that into the shopping for the week, so you don’t buy food you won’t be cooking at home.
If plans change and you do have food at home you can’t use up, freeze it for another day.
For top tips about how to cook turkey visit the Food Standards Agency website: www.nhs.uk/livewell/healthychristmas/pages/cooking-turkey.aspxDon’t forget to let Love Food Hate Waste help take the strain out of Christmas. Visit lovefoodhatewaste.com for tips and advice.