Have yourself a waste-free Christmas

Christmas Cost of Living 20/12/2022

Food Waste

Christmas is the time of year we tend to really indulge in the things we love…but this also often means overdoing it a bit and being left with lots of leftover food.

It’s important that we all try and reduce waste, to help the planet and to save ourselves money – and we have some top tips to help you make that Christmas turkey go further!


  • Be realistic about how much food you need – don’t get drawn in to buying extra food just because it’s on offer or it’s in the “impulse” section near the tills
  • Plan your meals – if you plan your breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the week ahead before you go shopping, you’re much more likely to stick to just buying what you need
  • Eat less meat – not only does eating meat bump up the price of your shop, but farming animals produces a lot more carbon so reducing how much meat you eat is beneficial to the environment
  • Reduce your portion sizes – reducing the amount you put on your plate can be good for your wallet and your waistline. It means we won’t be scraping leftovers from our plate into the bin and if you’re still hungry you can go for seconds!


  • Use up leftovers – don’t be tempted to scrape the leftovers into the bin! Small portions may be enough for a lunch the next day or you could create something completely new; how about a turkey curry on boxing day or use those uneaten brussel sprouts to make bubble and squeak for brunch
  • Make the most of everything – did you know that “scraps” like chicken bones, squash peelings, onion skins and carrot tops can be great for making stock? This can then be frozen in portions and pulled out when you need it
  • Freeze liquids – leftover sauces, gravy and even wine are great to freeze and add to dishes later on for that extra bit of flavour. Simply freeze them in an ice cube tray and, once frozen, add them all to a freezer bag for easy access in future.

Store properly

  • First in, first out (FIFO) – this is a rule professional chefs use to reduce waste! When you’re unpacking groceries, pack the new items behind old items to make sure the older items get used up. For example, place new apples underneath older apples in the fruit bowl
  • Understand expiration dates – supermarkets are reducing the amount of expiration dates they put on products to try and encourage us to judge by our senses and waste less food. Fruit, veg and a lot of dairy products are fine after their “best before” date. Check out the Stop Food Waste guide to product dates
  • Keep an eye on meat in your fridge – check how much meat is in your fridge and if you think you’re not going to use it before it goes bad, pop it in the freezer so it’s usable for another week!

Hopefully these top tips will help you throw away less food this Christmas, and save you some money at the same time!

If you need some help with the cost of living, head over to our Cost of Living support webpage for some advice on the support and benefits available.