Food wastage is costing you hundreds of dollars a year


Food wastage - many of us are probably guilty of it.

Based on the average Australian household, we throw away $1036 dollars' worth of food every year.

As a nation, that's $8 billion worth of food - 33% of this is fresh produce, 27% are leftovers, packaged and long-life products account for 15%, beverages 9%, frozen food 9% and takeaway food 7%. The biggest wasters include young consumers (aged 18-24), households with incomes of more than $100,000 a year and families with children.

food wastage

So why or how do we manage to waste so much food?

According to, some of the reasons are: we cook too much food, we don't know how to use leftovers, we don't check the cupboard or fridge before heading out to do our shopping, we don't stick to our shopping lists, we go shopping when we're hungry and we buy takeaways at the last minute instead of cooking the food we have at home.

Given the largest amount of wasted food is fresh produce, there are ways of salvaging it before it starts to turn into a congealed unrecognisable blob in the bottom of the crisper.

When talking about storing food long term, your freezer is your best friend and you should take full advantage of it as freezing food stops bacterial growth. Take that red capsicum that cost you $2.50 that you've been meaning to put in a stir fry a week ago.

Be realistic, if you don't think that stir fry is going to see the light of day, take the capsicum out, slice it up, place it in a small freezer bag and pop it in the freezer for another day. The same can be done for those corn cobs, broccoli or cauliflower.

As a guide, vegetables have a recommended storage time in the freezer of eight to 12 months.

But it doesn't just stop at fresh produce.

Those leftover pancakes you cooked for the kids can be frozen for three months, as can that excess biscuit dough.

The leftover camembert or brie from your dinner party can also be frozen for up to six months.

If you're about to go on holidays and have a carton of milk in the fridge, don't pour it down the sink - put it in the freezer for up to three months.

Plus then you'll have milk in the fridge for your return!

Here's a handy list of what you can and can't freeze and for how long.

Print it out and place it on your fridge to remind you how to cut down on food wastage and save yourself hundreds of dollars!


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