As Canadians, we waste a LOT of food each year, and the holidays tend to be the worst. We should all try to waste less food all year long, but when it comes to holiday entertaining we’ve rounded up our best tips to ensure you do not waste this holiday season.
1) Plan Ahead, Make a List & Stick to It
We can all get carried away with deals, bonus points, and tasty samples when we’re out doing our holiday dinner party shopping, but this is when you should really stick to your list. Not only will your bank account thank you immediately, but you’ll also be wasting less food (and saving all that money!).
Taste of Home has great tips on how to get a well-organized grocery list here.
Food Network has a great series of tips on how to stock up in advance for the holidays, making your trip out in advance less GIANT, hectic, and likely to splurge on extras. Read them here.
2) Cook & Save/Store
Shopping on Tuesday and hosting on Saturday? Why not take a few minutes each evening and cook up all your sides and extras? Roasting a full pan of veggies is simple and can easily be thrown into a Ziploc for easy freezer storage until the party. The best part? When you cook everything up in advance, you can put your serving dishes in the fridge (with covered wrap of course) and then you will know exactly what can go into freezer containers for later use.
No more big mess at the end of the night with soups and sides in bowls, jars, and all over the counter.
Martha Stewart (who else!) has a great collection of make-ahead holiday dishes.
3) Portioned Plates
A general rule of thumb is to freeze or eat leftovers within a few days. A great tip is to portion out all your leftovers into portions for one, two, or more so you know exactly how much of each side and main you’ve got. This way you easily store up all the extra mashed potatoes for easy additions to soups immediately rather than throwing out the last of the soggy mess five days later when no one is willing to eat mashed potatoes again.
You can also put portions in the freezer, so a healthy full meal is waiting for a hungry teen or a late night boss mom.
Don’t eat leftovers, eat planned overs! Rather than the same meal over and over, why not turn leftovers into casseroles, soups, or wraps? We love this post about amazing ways to enjoy turkey after ‘having turkey’ Recipes for Turning Turkey Leftovers into Planned-Overs.
5) Leftover Potluck
Why not invite some neighbours over a leftovers potluck? It’s a great excuse to let the kids play around together and easy to organize with everyone bringing a crock pot full of leftovers. You never know, you may discover a new recipe or holiday favourite. Feeding family and friends is the ultimate way to say I love you.
• For tips from Health Canada on how long to store food safely, check out this handy guide Safe Food Storage.
• For great tips on how to reduce your overall food waste, check out this article 20 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Food Waste
How will you be wasting less this holiday season? What are some of your best tips for cooking, eating, storing, and enjoying your food?
Isabelle, Your Appliance Expert