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Wasting food means wasting money and resources. It’s also really bad for the environment.
The average NSW household throws out around $3800 worth of food every year.
Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website to find out how to save money, waste less and eat better.
Most Australians increase their household waste by around 30% at Christmas time.
The best way to avoid food waste this Christmas is by careful planning. Make it easy - know how many are coming for lunch or dinner, write your list and stick to it.
Make room in your fridge and freezer for leftovers. Leftover ham, pudding, Christmas cake, mince pies and other treats freeze really well.
The easy tips below will help store common Christmas foods correctly so they stay fresher for longer.
Cherries and prawns
- Keep your cherries and prawns in their own air tight containers, away from strong smelling food and store in the coldest part of your fridge.
- If you have a fridge with an ice-making compartment at the top, the coldest part will be at the top. If you have a fridge freezer, the bottom shelves will be the coldest.
Tip 1: Don’t wash your cherries until you’re ready to eat them.
Tip 2: Bring a small esky or cool bag with you when purchasing your prawns and get them back home into the fridge as soon as possible.
Tip 3: Keep the prawn shells on, until just before you prepare them.
Keep your ham fresh and moist by storing in a clean pillowcase, tea towel or ham bag with these easy steps:
- Soak your cloth in a solution of 2 tablespoons white vinegar and 4 cups of water.
- Wring out excess liquid, place ham inside.
- Store in the coolest part of the fridge. If you have a fridge with an ice-making compartment at the top, the coldest part will be at the top. If you have a fridge freezer, the bottom shelves will be the coldest.
- Re-soak your cloth or bag every few days so it doesn’t dry out.
If your fridge can’t fit a whole ham leg, remove the meat from the bone in large chunks and store in the freezer.
Freezer Tip 1: Avoid cling wrap. Double wrap in butcher paper if you can or reuse empty bread bags, cereal bags or vegetable bags to wrap your ham in prior to freezing. When ham is securely wrapped, place into an airtight container.
Freezer Tip 2: Purchase reusable food grade silicon zip lock bags.
Freezer Tip 3: Label what you freeze and the date it was frozen.
- Plan your meals ahead of time and try to use up food or ingredients you already have
- Use shopping lists and stick to them so you only buy what you need
- Reuse leftovers. Freeze them in portions so they’ll last you longer.
- Store your food properly so it lasts longer.
- Be smart with your food scraps. Try composting or worm farming, or if you have chickens, you can feed them most food scraps.
Looking for inspiration to reuse your leftovers? Check out this recipe book with ideas from Wollongong residents:
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