How to save money, waste less and cook food you love
IF YOU hate wasting food, there is a cooking class in Yamba this weekend that's perfect for you with Love Food Hate Waste chef Alison Drover.
The Christmas Cooking Workshop aims to show people how they can save money and reduce food waste all year round.
According to Ms Drover, complacency with wasting food was often tied to a few complex issues.
"We don't spend enough time cooking," she said.
"Food is mass produced and it's cheaper so people have become used to food being more disposable.
"We are so busy in our lives, what we need sometimes is time and dedicating time to meals."
Ms Drover added that often people didn't have an understanding of the basics of cooking.
"We're all like masterchefs in the kitchen and we don't get to hone the basic skills," she said.
But the biggest piece of advice Ms Drover gives in the class is the challenge to drop three meals a week from the shopping list.
"You're then forced to go into your cupboard, and I guarantee there is something there," she said.
Ms Drover added that often people had unplanned outings during meal times that they didn't plan for when shopping.
"Cut down meals by three and then there is less food that is going off," she said.
Making the best use of local ingredients is another aspect of the Christmas Cooking Workshop.
"A pasta sauce, which is often imported... is expensive because of all the labour costs," she said.
"At farmers' markets they are practically giving away tomatoes and all you need to do is put them in the oven with a few herbs," she said.
With Christmas around the corner, Ms Drover said people were often out of the house at parties and events.
"It's a good time to be harsh with how many things you need to buy each week before Christmas," she said.
At the workshop, Ms Drover will cover a number of things that will help people waste less food.
"We look at strategy, we look at recipes, we cook and we sit down and eat together," she said.
"We will talk about the common things that people do waste."
The Christmas Cooking Workshop is this Saturday, December 3 from 10am to 1pm at the Treelands Community Centre, Yamba.
Bookings are essential. To secure your spot visit www.newaste.org.au or contact North East Waste on email@example.com or 6685 3651.