With huge energy price hikes and the average household wasting hundreds of pounds each year in food waste, we spoke to the professionals to find out how they reduce waste and save money at home and at work.
Here’s how you can reduce food waste while saving money when cooking up tasty grub:
Waste not, want not: Think before you get rid of any food
From rolling stale bread to marinating using fruit peelings, Yorkshire’s Adam Smith, founder of The Real Junk Food Project who now runs Surplus to Purpose as well as providing pop-up events and catering using surplus food, shares his top tips:
“I always use the stalks of cauliflower and broccoli in stir frys,” said Adam. there’s also lots of recipes where you can bake the whole vegetable such as Cauliflower Cheese in a deep dish.
Make ‘Facon,’ Vegan Bacon out of Banana Skins
Whether you’re a vegan or not, you can marinade banana skins and make your own bacon, saving money, your health and the planet by reducing waste and eating less meat.
Make your own stock from vegetable peels and old herbs
“I add carrot and onion peels to water and make a stock, and cook pasta in it,” said Adam who recommends this quick nutritious dish.
He added: “Blitz up older herbs with oil.
“Place in freezer trays and freezer for use as stock cubes when needed.”
Things to do in Yorkshire for less than the average price of a tank of petrol – …
Bake stale bread to make muffins
Adam rolls stale bread with a rolling pin, brushes with egg and places it in a tin muffin. He then breaks an egg into it and makes egg muffins.
When you’re reaching for my morning fix, say goodbye to Egg McMuffins and make the most out of what you have, saving you fuel, money and reducing waste.
Place old garlic in salt and rub it on toast for garlic bread.
Revamp old carrots and potatoes
“Place old carrots in ice and lemon juice to crisp up again.
“Place old potatoes in the whole oven then cut in half and scoop out contents and add butter to make mash,” added Adam.
Bulk up dishes with cheap vegetables
Bulking up dishes with plenty of vegetables can help save money, reduce meat or replace it altogether. Here Chef Minal Patel at the Vegetarian Michelin Guide- recommended Indian restaurant Prashad:
“A great way to save money in the kitchen is to reduce waste from what you are already buying. You can use stalks from herbs like coriander to add to chutneys, and make dishes go much further with plenty of vegetables. Options like green beans and cabbage are affordable, but can also improve the taste and texture of dishes too.
“I also grow all my own herbs at home as it’s so much cheaper and they’re easy to look after. If you really aren’t green fingered, buy living herbs rather than cut ones as they will last longer. “
The restaurant know what they’re talking about as they have been awarded a Bib Gourmand for their Indian Tasting Menu by the Michelin Guide every year since 2014, two AA Rosettes since 2015, and have been featured regularly in the Good Food Guide and Harden’s.
Cook fresh and frugal by making small portions
“Cook fresh but cook small,” said the head chef and owner of RubyLou’s Restaurant at The Ridings Shopping Center in Wakefield.
Katie Lockwood cooks to order or creates small portions for the day.
She said: “I make coleslaw fresh on a morning but when it’s done, it’s done. I’d rather it that way than be wasting lots every night or buying it in which doesn’t taste as good.
“At home we also cook freezable food in bulk and portion it out for the week.”
Go Indian Spice blend co-founder Dave Singh agrees with cooking fresh to create your own nutritious ‘fakeaways.’
“Cook fresh meals from scratch that are healthy and nutritious rather than buying processed food or takeaways.”
Inspired by his mum who used to spice up scrambled eggs and make baked bean curry out of cupboard basics, David said that he has learned to be creative when on a budget.
Dave and his wife Lucky Kaur always plan what they are going to eat for the week.
Plan what you are going to eat
Lucky said: “Eating without a plan can lead to haphazard eating. This is liable to incur extra cost and the potential for the meal or snack to be more processed and less nutritious.
“When you make a plan, you can decide which foods you need to buy for the next few days until you can afford to go shopping again.”
Make the most of what’s already in your cupboard
Wakefield’s favorite baker Karen Wright of Channel 4’s Great British Bake Off who left the show in a spice round, also said her mum inspired her.
“It’s nothing groundbreaking but I think back to my childhood and how we saved the brass,” said Karen.
“Before going to grocery shopping check what you already have in the fridge, freezer and cupboards, make a list of things and then try to make as many meals as you can out of what you have before going to the shops again.
“If you normally shop say on a Wednesday each week try to push on one extra day, so Thursday and then Friday the following week and so on, that way you will stretch the budget each week,” said Karen.
Prior to shopping, Karen writes a menu for the week and then a shopping list for just those ingredients.
Don’t shop on an empty stomach
We’ve all been there, piling up the trolley with tantalizing treats that we convince ourselves will last the week. But after a day or two, we realized we only bought what we ‘fancied’ when hungry and didn’t account for life or the rest of the week even though we spent more than usual.
Karen said: “Have a meal before shopping, if you shop on an empty stomach you buy loads more than you need.”
Use a slow cooker rather than the oven for slow food
“Avoid using the regular oven for slow cooking, use a slow cooker which is far more economical,” explained Karen.
But if you are going to use the oven, Karen advises to never just have one thing in the oven, try to cook or bake plenty of things at once.
Batch bake in the oven to save energy
“Batch baking, cooking will save the amount of energy used warming an oven up from cold all the time.
Choose quick cook or not cook meals.
Things like stir fries, using fish or chicken are fast and don’t use much gas or electric or just make a fabulous big salads using cooked meat bought in or tinned fish like tuna or salmon, no cooking is cheap cooking!
Fridge desserts, no bake puds like cheesecake are delicious and set up in the fridge.
Buy a larger chicken or joint and save enough meat to enjoy the next day with a big salad to bulk up, again, no cooking the next day.
“Pasta and rice that are often cooked in a separate pan to the sauce, try cooking the pasta and rice in the sauce, just add enough stock or tinned tomatoes or cream or whatever the sauce is and pop the pasta or rice in from dry. Think Paella and Biryani. ”
Don’t forget, if you’re not a chef and end up burning food in a pan before trashing the pan, try cleaning it by boiling baking soda and then let it dry.
How do you save money in the kitchen? Tweet us @YorkshirePost @SophieMeiLan_