How to Reduce Food Waste and Save Money

UK households waste 6.5 million tonnes of food every year, 4.5 million of which is edible at a cost of £14 billion. By being clever with our menu choices for the week, savvy storage ideas and using up leftovers, the average family of four can save £60 a month (or £720 a year) by reducing the amount of food they throw away.

In addition to the benefits to our pockets, 25-30% of global carbon emissions are created by growing and producing food alone so reducing food waste also helps our planet.

Food Waste Facts:


Food Waste comes from our homes


Tonnes of edible food is thrown away every year


Tonnes of Greenhouse Gas Emissions could be prevented from saving food from our bins

8 Meals

Saved a week if we stop binning our food at home

Love Food Hate Waste

Love Food Hate Waste are world leading experts in preventing citizens wasting food. Their website has loads of fantastic useful information on:

  • Buying what you need and portion control
  • Storing products correctly to make them last
  • Understanding best before and use by dates
  • Managing your fridge
  • Leftover recipe ideas and budget recipes

Top Tips for Reducing Food Waste:

  • Plan meals in advance

    Write a list of meals for the week and get creative with using up ingredients. For example, if you need one piece of chicken and half a butternut squash for a recipe on Monday, what other dishes can you make during the week to use up the rest? On websites like BBC Good Food you can search by ingredients to select a recipe and LoveFoodHateWaste have leftover food recipes to use up that half a squash.

  • Portion control

    With obesity rates continuing to rise in the UK looking at portion sizes is a good way to reduce food waste and your waistline. Lovefoodhatewaste have a portion planner giving recommendations for adult and children size portions, using these will help you cook just the right amount of food without having loads leftover.

  • Buy what you need

    Britons throw away almost half a million tonnes of fresh vegetables and salad and a quarter of a million tonnes of fresh fruit a year, often because fresh produce is only available in pre-packed quantities. A recent study by WRAP has also shown that packaging fresh produce in single-use plastic doesn’t extend the life but forces people to buy more than they need. Look to buy fruit and veg loose to limit how much you buy. This should get easier as supermarkets are coming under pressure to increase their loose offerings.

  • Check your fridge temperature

    Your fridge temperature should be below 5c. This will keep your food fresher for longer. Putting open packets whether its cheese or a pot of coleslaw in an airtight container, will help it last longer.

  • Freeze leftovers

    If you’re not ready to eat your leftovers or have in-date food, put it in the freezer to eat at a later date.

  • Use By and Best Before dates

    Use By dates are on products for food safety so always use up a product by its Use By date. If you’re not going to be able to, freeze it. Best Before dates are a recommendation based on the quality and taste of the product by that date, these products can be eaten past the date – just have a look at the product or take a sniff test before eating.

  • Use Up Ingredients

    If you find ingredients leftover at the end of the week, why not try a leftover recipe. The Guardian have a great weekly column with ideas, Lovefoodhatewaste have a recipe generator, as does Kitche App.

Food Waste

West Sussex and Food waste

  • From 2023, local authorities will be legally required to collect food waste separately and recycle all the waste that cannot be redistributed. These changes were introduced as part of the Environment Act 2021, which became law in November 2021.
  • Arun District Council, in partnership with West Sussex County Council, have been running a food waste collection trial. This includes weekly food waste and absorbent hygiene product (AHP), such as nappies and incontinence waste, collections.
  • In general, we encourage you to shop smart and reduce food waste, or donate surplus food to community fridges and food banks. If your food is past edible, then compost vegetable matter and teabags.

Useful Apps

Here are some of our favourite food waste saving Apps (kinda weird their logos are also similar colours?!). Try these out and see which ones work for you:

Too Good to Go

Too Good to Go

Too Good To Go is a community of Waste Warriors fighting food waste together. As a user, save meals from stores and food professionals around you.



Food sharing app. Give and get free stuff and borrow and lend household items – all directly from your community.


With lists for your freezer, fridge and cupboard, you can check what food you have left, see what food you need to use first, plan your meals, create a shopping list, and avoid unnecessary purchases.


The ultimate leftovers app. Import your food to keep track of what you have at home and find 1000s of recipes, based on products you have.