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Ways to save money on food

The cost of living has increased dramatically and is set to continue to rise. More than 1 in 6 of us are worried about going hungry as food prices soar (Hubbub polling, March 2022) and we’re all having to negotiate higher costs for food, fuel, and energy bills.

How can we make the most of the food we buy so we don’t spend more than we need to?

If everyone ate all the food they bought, 4.5. million tonnes of good food would be eaten rather than wasted (WRAP), your family could save over £60 a month, and you'd be doing your bit for the environment! Read on for more tips...

These tips are part of something bigger. At Hubbub, we want to see a world where everyone makes choices that are good for the environment. Check out what we do and how your actions add up.

Planning your meals is one of the easiest ways to keep good food from going to waste.

Get your housemates involved too and find out who will be eating in and when. You could put a chalkboard in the kitchen to share a meal plan for the whole family to get involved with, or text your housemates at the start of the week. Remember to use up what you have in your fridge and cupboards and see if you can build a meal with that food. It might be wise to keep a day free if you fancy a takeaway or a night out.

Haven’t written a meal plan before? No problem!

Use our handy meal planner to keep you and your family in delicious dinners throughout the week. Remember to look for common ingredients across recipes, so you don’t buy too much.

Storing food correctly is one of the best ways to reduce food waste. It will help it last longer and taste better. Not sure where to store your bread or your beans? These are our top tips:

  • Keep cool, dark and dry – bread, onions, potatoes, mushrooms (keep onions separate from other food)
  • Keep in the fridge – vegetables, fruit, eggs, leftover meals, dairy, meat, gravy
  • Use your freezer – it’s like a pause button for everything from slices of bread to cartons of milk and much more

Still not sure how to store something – check out this A-Z of food storage.

Turning leftover meals into a delicious new meal or a tasty snack is one of the best ways to help tackle food waste. 

Make sure to cool leftovers as quickly as possible. Then store them in the fridge or freezer (if saving for a later date). Eat them within two days if stored in the fridge (one for rice) and reheat until piping hot. 

If eating the same meal two days in a row isn’t for you, try these tips to reimagine your leftover food into a brand-new meal: 

  • Leftovers from a Sunday roast? Create a bubble and squeak brunch or add them to a curry.
  • Cooked too much rice? Fry it with some leftover vegetables, soy sauce and an egg or two, heat thoroughly and you’ve got egg fried rice.
  • Overdone it on the pasta? You can’t go far wrong with a delicious mac n cheese.

Hubbub’s 300 + Community Fridges across the UK shared enough food to make over 7.5 million meals in 2021. Many community fridges, where anyone can leave food they don’t need, and anyone can take it away, have unsurprisingly seen a sharp increase in visitors over the last few months. If you want to visit one to share or take food, you can find your closest fridge here.

You don’t have to go vegan to make big savings, but you can bulk up the protein in family meals for less by substituting some of the meat with lentils or other pulses, which also have lower carbon impact.

Hungry for more? 

If food waste were a country, it would be the third biggest polluter in the world. Find out how our campaigns have been shifting behaviours to take a bite out of the problem.

We do more than food. 

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