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Easy ways to reduce Christmas food waste this year

The holiday season for us in the UK means family, love, warmth, presents – and food of course! However, most of us always buy extra food, often leading to spectacular amounts of waste.

In the UK, we generate 30% more waste than usual over the festive season. Last Christmas, House Beautiful Magazine reported that approximately 2 million turkeys, 74 million mince pies and 17.2 million Brussel sprouts were thrown away every Christmas. With the holidays upon us yet again, here are 4 simple steps you can follow to help make this season less wasteful.

  1. Be realistic

We all get excited about family and friends that we haven’t seen all year coming around for Christmas. We’ll go all out in the kitchen and cook up a storm, even when it’s only 3 extra people joining us! Be realistic. Do 10 people really need 2 turkeys, packs and packs of mince pies and hundreds of Brussel sprouts? Are they going to finish the 10kg bag of potatoes you bought? Probably not. Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you need to buy triple!

  1. Plan ahead

Before the meal, plan your menu and exactly how much food you’ll need. If you know how many people you are expecting, a shopping list will reduce the risk of impulse buys, and will guide you to buy what you actually need. However, unexpected guests should always be expected. Stock the freezer with frozen desserts and canapés than can be brought out at a moment’s notice. If they don’t get eaten, just use them another time!

  1. Go frozen

Christmas dinner is one of the priciest meals of the year, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Frozen food is family friendly, especially during the festive season. As well as offering great value for money, it can also help you cut down your food bill further by reducing food waste. One of the most important advantages of going frozen this Christmas is that the food can be stored for a while without losing any of its nutritional benefits & taste, and reduces the amount of excess food that will end up in then bin. Talk about a win-win!

  1. Encourage self-serving

Sometimes when dishing out food for other people, we can be too generous in the fear that if we’re not, we may be labelled as ‘stingy’. Not really a festive spirit is it? This is why it’s a great idea to encourage self-serving. People will take a portion they know they can eat. However, being the holidays and all; some people may have eyes bigger than their stomachs and load their plates with more than they can eat in one sitting. Therefore, why not share the love and send your guests home with a doggie bag of any leftovers. That way, nothing goes to waste and your guests get a little supper for when they arrive home!

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