In times like these, it is important to look after yourself and others when it comes to food shopping. Double Gold Coast silver medallist Lauren Smith shows how to cut down on your food waste which will not only help your wallet but also the planet

With everything that is going on at the moment, it is more important than ever that we are avoiding food waste. Not just to avoid shops and supermarkets but also because food waste is bad for the environment and also bad for our wallets. Here are my top tips to avoid food waste:

Tip one

Keep track in what is in your cupboards and what is in your fridge. Especially things which have a shelf life, keep a track of the date and plan your meals around what is going off and when it needs to be used by. 

Tip two

Utilise your freezer. This has loads of uses for loads of different foods, one being bread. Bread is one of the most wasted products in the UK and so when you get your loaf if you know you throw about half of it out, take that half out and put it in the freezer and use it from there. Marcus and I freeze all the bread we have and just eat it as toast, also things like crumpets, hot cross buns, tea cakes, rolls are freezer friendly.

If you’ve got raw meat that is fresh, you can portion it up and put it in the freezer straight away. If you’ve got meat that is coming to its use by date and you know you aren’t going to use it then cook it up, make something yummy and pp that in the freezer and it’ll last even longer.

Milk is also something which you can freeze as soon as you brought it, you can keep it a little bit longer and you have to get it out in advance and defrost it but that doesn’t take too much organisation.

Finally, vegetables, I’ve frozen peppers, I’ve frozen broccoli, I’ve frozen cauliflower all of those things. Usually I just put them into a soup when I have time to make it, but it does make them last that little bit longer. 

Tip three

It is something that I’ve already mentioned, and it is soup. If you have vegetables in your fridge that aren’t enough for a normal dinner bang it in a pan, add some stock add a few more flavours and vegetables that you want. It is really easy to make; all you need is a hand blender which you can get online quite cheap or even a blending machine.

Tip four

Get creative with other things that are near the end of their life, bread can become breadcrumbs, wraps can become tortilla chips, berries can become jams – the possibilities are endless. 

Tip five

Something that is really important at the moment is become friends with online grocery shopping. You can add stuff to your basket over a period of time and keep an eye on delivery slots and be organised on when you need to order it. They are obviously swept off their feet at the moment, so you make need to give it a few more days than usual. But it’s a great way to avoid any contact.

Tip six

Is also relevant at this time, to check with local restaurants and pubs to see if they are selling any of their produce. It is important we support local businesses through this really difficult time, and they may be selling their food that they would normally be cooking for you. So, if you have a local you really love, get in touch and see if they are doing anything like that. 

Hopefully this has inspired you to try and few things in the kitchen to avoid food waste, we’ve really got no excuse as there is nowhere else to be at the moment. I’d love to see what you do, tag me if you try anything and there is loads more ideas online.

Stay safe, stay at home and we’ll get through this.