Dan and Steph’s leftover turkey, sweet potato and pine nut salad.
Dan and Steph’s leftover turkey, sweet potato and pine nut salad. Glen David Wilson

9 tips to cut food waste and save you money this Christmas

THE FESTIVE season is a good time for households to reconsider what they consider waste food and save a bit of money as well.

According to figures from the NSW Environmental Protection Agency householders in the state throw away around $2.5 billion worth of food annually, with the Christmas/New Year period boosting that average considerably.

This Christmas, the EPA has thrown down a challenge to households in NSW to create less waste. 

EPA executive director Waste and Resource Recovery Steve Beaman said changes made at home didn't have to be big or onerous to make a difference.

"Every year NSW households waste more than $2.5 billion of food, the single biggest component of household garbage bins. Christmas is a great time to be doing things a little differently," Steve said.

"A few simple changes won't just help the environment, it'll save you money as well."

Festive season waste saving tips

  • Defrost your freezer before Christmas. It will work more efficiently and create more space to store left over food.
  • Use the kid's paintings or drawings for wrapping paper, or swap last year's recycled paper with a friend, so you have new designs.
  • When booking your Christmas party, ask if the venue recycles and choose one that does.
  • Giving the kids a new gadget? Buy rechargeable batteries and a battery charger for long-lasting, waste-less power.
  • Reuse scraps of materials to wrap your presents.
  • For recipes that require just a bit of lemon juice, puncture the rind with a toothpick and gently squeeze out what you need. Then cover the hole with a piece of tape and store the lemon in the fridge for later use.
  • Write a shopping list. Base your list on your menu plan, and stick to it. You'll be less likely to make impulse purchases and ultimately, it means less waste going to landfill.
  • Measure serving sizes. It can be tricky to estimate how much to prepare when hosting large groups of family and friends. The Love Food Hate Waste serving size calculator will help you work out how much you need to cook.

  • Give the garden a present too. Vegetable scraps and left overs can be composted for a nutrient-rich present to your garden. Celebrate Left Overs Day - Everyone knows that Christmas lunch can taste even better the next day while watching the cricket. Check out the Love Food Hate Waste website for some great left over recipes.

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