In these diffiicult times, it is important to make the most of our food. Usually, food makes up around a quarter of the rubbish we throw away in Hampshire, and most of this could have been eaten! So now is a really good time to take a look at how you use your food.
Ignore the 'Best before' dates on packets, tins, baked foods and fruit and vegetables – if they look OK to eat, they are. The Government Food Standards Agency advice is that food is safe to eat after the 'Best before' date.
The only dates you must follow are 'Use by' dates – don't use any food after the end of the 'Use by' date. 'Use by' dates are on food that goes off quickly, such as meat products. Check your fridge regularly and plan meals around what needs using up.
To extend its life, food can be frozen before the end of the 'Use by' date. It should then be thoroughly defrosted and used within 24 hours. Almost all food can be frozen. It is very good for sliced bread, which can be toasted straight from the freezer. Cheese freezes well, and if it is grated first it can be used in cooked dishes from frozen.
We sometimes cook too much, such as pasta or rice, so it is a good idea to measure the amount first. One adult portion is 75-100g dried pasta, or about one mug-full per person. This is the same for all types of pasta shapes.
With rice its about a third to a half of a cup (60-90g) per person. Measure the uncooked rice; when it's cooked it doubles in size. Once you know how much your family eats, you can vary the amount according to appetites.
Don't throw it away! Find recipes for your leftovers .
Why not share your recipes to use up leftovers, or tips to avoid food waste, on social media.
Try these other ways to make the most of your food, and save money at the same time.