Don't let your festive food go to waste

According to Love Food Hate Waste, more than a third of us admit we throw away more food at Christmas than at any other time of the year.

In fact, the UK throws out the equivalent of:

  • 2 million turkeys
  • 5 million Christmas puddings
  • 74 million mince pies

That's a lot of wasted energy and water needed to make that food, as well as your money, going in the bin.

According to the research, some of that waste is down to a lack of cooking skills but the majority is due to buying too much and cooking more than people can actually eat.

You don't have to be a Grinch though to avoid wasting food at Christmas. Here are some top tips to help you enjoy your Christmas Day lunch while reducing waste, saving money and helping the planet at the same time.

Only buy what people want to eat

There is no law that says you have to eat sprouts, Christmas pudding or any other festive food at this time of year. If you know you and your guests don't eat it, then don't buy it.

Portion plan

There is no need to eat to excess during Christmas lunch. There will be plenty of other snacks and treats available afterwards and throughout the day so no one is going to miss out. You can use the Love Food Hate Waste portion planner to help you ensure people feel satisfied without overdoing it. Use your freezer If you do end up with lots of leftovers then make good use of your freezer so you can turn it into something delicious at a later date.

Donate your spares

Once the festivities are over, don't let any unused tins or packets sit on your shelves to be forgotten about and go out of date. Donate them to your local foodbank.

Use up your leftovers

Here are some of the most commonly wasted foods around Christmas time and some ideas to help you use up those leftovers.

Here are two recipe ideas to help you use up any leftover stilton.

Stilton also freezes. Just chop it up into handy portions, wrap in foil and freeze for up to three months. Defrost in the fridge for about 24 hours to stop the cheese from becoming too crumbly.

Brussels Sprouts

Perfect for a bubble and squeak recipe.

Christmas Cake

If you are going shop-bought, then check your dates but homemade Christmas cakes can keep for a good couple of months in an airtight container. If you are running out of time here is a recipe for Last Minute Christmas Cake.

Bread Sauce

A great chance to use up any unused or leftover stale bread by turning it into breadcrumbs. Here is a recipe for a simple bread sauce. If you make too much then it can be frozen in either a sealed bag or airtight container to re-heat later, as long as it hasn't been frozen before.


Lots of options here as well as the traditional turkey sandwich. Some recipe ideas are below.

Find all these recipes and more at 

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