1. WORK OUT A WEEKLY MENU
Plan ahead. Think of ways you can use the same ingredients in different meals. Through planning, you will shop smarter by buying only what you need — and save a bit of money in the process.
2. GET CREATIVE
Try to use everything in your kitchen by attempting to cook something you haven’t made before. You can mash leftover sweet potatoes, for instance, to make fish cakes. Who knows, the ideas you come up with for #LeftOverMondays could become the main event at your next dinner party.
3. TASTE BEFORE YOU WASTE
Keep in mind that best-before dates are more about quality than safety, so trust your senses. We are hardwired to react to food that is bad for us. If smelling food still leaves you doubtful, let your taste buds do the testing. You’ll know immediately.
4. CHECK YOUR PORTIONS
Ask yourself: how much is too much? Often, we throw food away because our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. Another pitfall is racking up the stuff that is meant to be good for us. Irrespective of whether it’s healthy, too much of anything will work against us. More doesn’t necessarily amount to better value.
5. STORE IT, SAVE IT
Do a bit of research on how to store food properly using wet towels and re-usable containers. Many fruits and vegetables actually benefit from being outside the fridge, leaving more space for perishable leftovers. And if there’s still some left over, donate it to someone who could use it.
6. GET TECHNICAL
By adding new cooking techniques and recipes to your repertoire, you will not only stretch your food budget further, but will also add a new dimension to your cooking. Pickling or making jam are great ways to preserve fruits and vegetables. And if you’re implementing a personal sugar tax, use chia seeds instead. Pickled vegetables, incidentally, make great toppings for sandwiches or salads.
Trends come and go, but the fact that leftover food can be a delicious meal is nothing new. From French Toast (or pain perdu, which literally translates as “lost bread”) and hearty soups to frittatas, hummus, and banana bread, the options are almost endless.
We just need to start looking at food’s potential rather than its superficial imperfections.