In an average year, UK households waste 4.5 million tonnes of edible food. Reducing food waste plays a major part in our plans to tackle the climate emergency. And it's an easy way that everyone can have a positive impact on climate change and save money in the process.

Food waste is not currently recyclable in Kirklees, but composting is a great way of putting any inedible scraps to good use.

Save Money, Save Food workshops

Our Save Food, Save Money workshops were brought back as a result of research conducted as part of our Waste Strategy. Led by local community food worker Bev they are designed to help participants prevent unnecessary food waste. The three themed workshops consist of top tips to help reduce food waste, as well as a cooking demonstration and accompanying recipe, and they are now available to watch online.

Plan Away Food Waste

The first in a series of three workshops run by Community Chef Bev, in partnership with Kirklees Council.

In this video, Bev shares some facts on common foods that are thrown away and gives top tips on meal planning to help you avoid unnecessary food waste. Finally, Bev runs through a cooking demonstration for a super easy couscous salad, you can find the recipe below.

The recipe demonstration starts at 12:35

Super Saving Storage

The second in a series of three workshops run by Community Chef Bev, in partnership with Kirklees Council.

In this video, Bev shares some facts on date labels and shares some of her top tips on the best methods to store your food at home to keep it fresh and avoid unnecessary food waste. Finally, Bev runs through a cooking demonstration for a vegetable pasta salad, you can find the recipe below.

The recipe demonstration starts at 21:12

Perfect Portions

The final in a series of three workshops run by Community Chef Bev, in partnership with Kirklees Council.

In this video, Bev shares some facts on foods which are often leftover and gives top tips on how to avoid them using the best portion sizes when cooking and serving. Finally, Bev runs through a cooking demonstration for a delicious banana cake, you can find the recipe below.

The recipe demonstration starts at 18:05

Food waste top tips

Top tips to help you plan away food waste

  • Stocktake. Check your cupboards, fridge, and freezer for food packets that are nearing their best before date, nearly empty, or items that are finished.
  • Take a 'shelfie'. It's easy to forget what food you have at home when you're out and about. Why not take a 'shelfie' so you know exactly what's in? Taking a picture on your phone of your fridge or cupboards is a good way of stopping you from buying stuff you already have.
  • Love a list! Make a shopping list - this could be on a piece of paper or on your phone. Update this list throughout the week when you've used up items you need. Remember to take your list with you and tick off items as you shop.
  • Shop happy. There are many free shopping list apps for mobiles and tablets. Visit your app store and download whichever suits you best. Remember, downloading apps will use mobile data if you are not connected to Wi-Fi. Always check your mobile data plan before downloading apps.
  • Shop smart. Plan meals for the week (at least 4 or 5 meals) before you go food shopping. Shopping with specific meals and ingredients in mind helps you to buy just what you need.
  • Clever combinations. Consider buying foods that can be used for several different meals - for example, if you buy a bag of salad or a punnet of tomatoes, what other meals could these be used for?
  • Try a different way to shop. Some people find that shopping online helps to focus their food shop on their meal plans and avoid impulse shopping. People report a reduction in their food waste and that they have saved money.
  • Beware of BOGOF (Buy One, Get One Free). Is it too good to be true? Check the value per pence or value per weight of the item first. Will you really use the extra amount before the use by date? Can it be frozen to preserve it for longer?

For more information check out the resources on Love Food Hate Waste .

Top tips for super saving storage

Date labels

Get those 'use by' dates working for you - Look for the longest use by dates when shopping, or shortest if you are definitely going to use it in time. This can sometimes save you money if on offer. Confused about what the date labels mean?

  • Use by - Refers to food safety. You must not eat food past the 'use b' date.
  • Best before - This is about food quality. You can continue to eat food past this date, but it might not be at its best.
  • Sell by, or Display until - This information is for shop staff only.

Fridge know-how

Is your fridge at the right temperature? Keeping your fridge between OC and 5C will help your food keep for longer. Make sure you use your fridge to its full potential:

  • Fruit - Most fruit lasts up to two weeks longer in the fridge, especially if kept in its original packaging (except bananas and pineapples - keep these cool but not in the fridge).
  • Keep opened food like ham and cheese well wrapped either in their original packaging or place in an airtight container.
  • Cool leftovers at room temperature first and then store them in the fridge - remember to eat within two days or freeze to keep them for longer.

Forgotten in the freezer?

Many fresh foods can be frozen before their 'use by' date to prolong their edible life including cheddar cheese, potatoes, chillis, milk, and bread.

Clean cupboards

By keeping your cupboards organised you will be able to clearly see what you have in stock and what you might need to buy.

  • Keep onions and potatoes in a cool, dry, dark place. They will store best in a cloth bag rather than a plastic one.
  • Using storage jars can help keep dry goods like flour, grains, and pulses fresher for longer - you can even re-use old glass jars or take-away containers to further prevent waste.
  • Bag clips are a great, low-cost way to make sure food bags are well sealed and keep the contents fresh.
  • Top tips for perfect portions

    Did you know that portion size is one of the biggest contributors to food waste?

    • Take note! Observe how you do with your portion sizes - do you get it right? Get it wrong? What are the common types of food you end up leaving?.
    • Plate up! Or down? Try using a smaller plate! It really does work to help you lower the serving size.
    • Tool support. Using measuring tools can help you get those portion sizes right. We like measuring cups and spoons, and you can even get spaghetti measurers! Try the Food portion calculator: your guide to perfect portion sizes .
    • Self-service. Not everyone eats the same amount, it's a good idea to tailor your portions to suit the person. Better yet, why not ask people to serve themselves if there is often waste on dished up plates.
    • Lovely leftovers. With a little thought, all sorts of delicious meals can be made from leftovers. For example, bolognese mince could be put into a lasagne or used to stuff vegetables such as peppers or courgettes. If you aren't going to eat your leftovers within a couple of days, you could also store them in the freezer or give them as 'doggy bags' to guests.
    • Leftovers for lunch. You don't always have to transform your leftovers, too much of tonight's pasta could be tomorrow's tasty low-cost lunch.
    • Eating out. When eating out remember, you can ask for smaller portions - and if you never eat the salad garnish you can always request your meal without it!
    • Batch-cooking. Make big batches of food such as curry, chilli or stew, and freeze them in easy-to-use individual portions.
    • Be guided by the good. Use healthy eating to inform your portions sizes - follow The Eatwell Guide .


    Banana cake

    Makes 10 slices

    Banana cake is a great way to use up ripe bananas, as a banana blackens it becomes even sweeter! This cake can be frozen in slices and defrosted as needed.


    • Brown Sugar - 210g
    • Medium eggs - 2
    • Small ripe bananas, peeled and mashed - 2
    • Self-raising flour - 235g
    • Baking powder - 1tsp
    • Butter or spread - 110g


    1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170C.
    2. In a large mixing bowl cream together the sugar and eggs.
    3. Add the mashed banana and stir.
    4. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and fold in.
    5. Melt the butter/spread and add to the bowl, stir well.
    6. Place the mixture into a greased tin - approx. 20cm in diameter or a large loaf tin. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown and springy to touch. Allow to cool before removing from the tin.

    Top tip - to check if the banana cake is done insert a skewer or knife into the centre and it should come out clean.

    Banana oats

    Serves 1

    Great for breakfast or a quick dessert this recipe is a really tasty way to use up bananas when they are starting to go brown.


    • Banana - 1
    • Oats or muesli (heaped) - 2tbsp
    • Natural yoghurt - 3tbsp
    • Honey - 2tsp
    • Sunflower or mixed seeds - 1tbsp
    • To serve: dried fruit or fresh berries


    1. Peel and slice a medium banana, layer half the banana slices into the base of a cereal bowl.
    2. Mix the honey into the yoghurt, spoon half the yoghurt and honey mixture on top of the banana.
    3. Sprinkle with one tablespoon of oats and continue layering again with the other half of the banana slices, yoghurt and the remaining oats.
    4. Sprinkle with the mixed seeds.
    5. Add your choice of fruit and serve immediately or cover the bowl and chill in the fridge overnight.

    Get creative by adding your favourite dried or fresh fruit, swapping the honey with golden or maple syrup, and even topping with chocolate chips or nuts like flaked almonds.

    Breakfast wrap

    Serves 1

    These wraps are a great way to start the day, with eggs, vegetables, and cheese. Great for using up leftovers they also make a lovely lunch.


    • Bread Wrap - 1
    • Eggs - 2
    • Milk - 2tbsp
    • Vegetable oil - 2tsp
    • Tomato, chopped - 1
    • Mixed vegetables - 75g
    • Spring onion - 1
    • Red or yellow pepper - 1/4
    • Grated cheese - 15g
    • Ground pepper to taste


    1. In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, onion, pepper, and vegetables together.
    2. Make an omelette by beating the eggs together with the milk and season with pepper.
    3. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan, add the vegetables, cook for 3 minutes, place in a bowl.
    4. Heat a teaspoon of oil in the same pan, pour in the egg mixture and cook for a minute. Sprinkle over the vegetables, cook on a medium heat until the egg is set then sprinkle on the cheese. Place the pan under the grill to melt the cheese.
    5. Slide the omelette onto the wrap. Roll up the wrap before cutting it in two to serve.

    Get creative by adding your favourite vegetables to the omelette, mushrooms are great in this recipe.

    Couscous salad

    Serves 4-8

    This recipe is so quick and easy to make, it's great for using up any salad vegetables, add your own favourites.


    • Couscous - 200g
    • Vegetable stock (1 stock cube, hot water) - 270ml
    • 2 Tomatoes or 8 Cherry tomatoes
    • Sweetcorn, drained - 1/2 small can
    • Cucumber, finely chopped - 1/4
    • Small red onion, peeled and finely chopped - 1
    • Chickpeas, drained - 1 tin
    • Dried apricots, finely chopped - 5
    • Olive oil - 2tbsp
    • Lemon, juiced - 1/2
    • Fresh parsley, finely chopped - 3tbsp
    • Sunflower or pumpkin seeds - 2tbsp
    • Ground black pepper to taste


    1. Measure the couscous into a large bowl.
    2. In a jug, add 270mls of boiling water, dissolve the stock cube. Pour the stock over the couscous and cover the bowl with a plate. Leave for 10 minutes.
    3. Place the prepared vegetables into a large serving bowl, add the chickpeas.
    4. In the jug, mix the oil and lemon juice, pour over the vegetables.
    5. Use a fork to loosen the couscous, add to the vegetable, stir well.
    6. Stir in the parsley.
    7. Add pepper to taste and serve or cover the bowl and place in the fridge, eat the next day.

    Get creative by swapping the parsley for coriander, use your favourite vegetables or even leftover roasted vegetables.

    Tomato and vegetable pasta sauce

    Serves 4

    Great for using up left over vegetables, you can use fresh, frozen, or tinned. This recipe is healthy option as there is no added sugar. The sauce is easy to make and fantastic to make in bulk, it makes a great sauce base for tuna pasta bake.


    • Onion, peeled and finely chopped - 1
    • Carrot, washed and finely chopped - 1
    • Garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped - 1
    • Vegetable oil - 1tsp
    • Cucumber, finely chopped - 1/4
    • 2 tins or 500g fresh Tomatoes
    • Tomato puree - 1 tbsp
    • Vegetable stick cube - 1
    • Black pepper to taste


    1. Prepare the vegetables.
    2. In a large pan heat the oil, add the onions and garlic, cook till they soften.
    3. Add all the vegetables, tomatoes, tomato puree, stock cube dissolved in 500mls hot water. Stir and bring to the boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 20- 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
    4. Season with pepper to taste. The sauce can be blended or left chunky.
    5. Add pepper to taste and serve over-cooked pasta, sprinkle with grated cheese. If not eating immediately, cool quickly and freeze in portions ready to get out of the freezer when needed. Defrost safely overnight in the fridge, or in the microwave.

    Get creative, add extra vegetables or beans - if adding peas, sweetcorn or beans add these after blending and heat until the added vegetables are hot.

    Vegetable pasta salad

    Serves 4

    This recipe can be useful for using up any extra pasta you have cooked and making use of any salad or cooked vegetables left over in the fridge.


    • Small pasta shapes - 350g
    • Vegetable stock cube - 1
    • Broccoli, cut into florets - 250g
    • Cherry or plum tomatoes, cut into quarters - 100g
    • Spinach, washed and shredded - 100g
    • Red pesto - 2tbsp
    • Creme fraiche - 100g
    • Sunflower of pumpkin seeds - 50g


    1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the stock cube and pasta, cook for 10-12 minutes. Check the packaging for cooking time.
    2. Wash and prepare the broccoli, add to the pan of pasta for the last 5 minutes.
    3. Drain the pasta and broccoli into a colander, cool in a bowl of water.
    4. When the pasta has cooled, drain and place in a bowl. Stir in the creme fraiche and pesto.
    5. Add the tomatoes, spinach, and seeds, stir well.
    6. Add pepper to taste and serve or cover the bowl and place in the fridge, eat the next day.

    Get creative, other ingredients to try are 1/2 tin of sweetcorn, frozen mixed vegetables, or whatever your family's favourites are! Add cooked chopped meat, sausages or your preferred vegetarian alternative to make a quick tea.

    Further reading

    • Love Food Hate Waste - Great hints and tips to help make the most of the food you buy.
    • Composting - Make your garden bloom with your own homemade compost. Vegetable peelings, tea bags eggshells, grass cuttings, garden prunings, twigs and hedge clippings, shredded paper and cardboard are a few of the items that can be composted.
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