My FoodSavvy Challenge: Greatest Tips you’ll Love!

I was going to start, by saying that my #FoodSavvy challenge is over, then I realised that actually it’s only just begun! 😀

What is #FoodSavvy?

Many of you will know that for the past 4 weeks, I have been an ambassador for the FoodSavvy challenge run by the environmental charity Hubbub, in conjunction with Suffolk county council and Norfolk County Councils.

The overall aim of the challenge, besides creating awareness around the campaign, was to reduce Food Waste and Single-Use food plastic waste.

Where can I find out more?

If you missed my previous posts, you can find them here:

The start: Save more money with the Food Savvy Challenge

The middle: What are your greatest FoodSavvy tips?

It’s not over?

Although this challenge was initially run during February for 4 weeks, of course, the lessons learnt will continue to be implemented. I mean, if you knew a way of saving around £70 per month, wouldn’t you want to keep doing it!?

Save yourself some money… be FoodSavvy!

What did I learn?

From this challenge, I learnt that many of us are programmed to throw things away if we ‘think’ they are waste! Often, we do it without thinking: we scrape the remains of the plates into the bin; we toss the brown bruised apple in the bin; we throw the squishy tomato/mouldy lemon; we see a date which has passed and panic; we tip out the well intended leftovers hiding at the back of the fridge. Well, did you know if you ‘thought’ and ‘planned’ then this could become a thing of the past!?

Portion out extra food and freeze (remember to label & date it).

There IS a solution… or two!

⭐Plan your meals.

⭐Freeze leftovers unless you know for certain you will eat them (maybe for lunch the next day).

⭐Check your fridge before you go shopping (taking a photo is a great idea).

⭐Rotate your produce – newest at the back.

⭐Put less on your (and your children’s) plate and get seconds (thirds/fourths) if you need to.

⭐Throw veg into a curry, soup, stew, chilli.

⭐Stew the fruit (yes, even brown apples) to make compote, crumble, puree.

⭐Use the lemon to clean your taps or freshen your sinks/toilet/dishwasher!

What about Plastic?

🙀🙀🙀That is me screaming🙀🙀🙀

Single-use plastic is absolutely everywhere! This was the most difficult part of the challenge for us as there are certain foods which seem almost impossible to buy without plastic!

In our monitoring week, we carried on with what we thought was ‘doing a good job’ and were horrified to find so many items in plastic. Okay, some containers we will wash and use again – like the dairy-free spread containers, or the ice-cream tub, but it is still plastic! Also, some items aren’t consumed each week, or just happened to finish in this week such as biscuits, cheese spread, tortilla wraps, olives and fizzy drinks.

Oh my! ONE weeks worth of household plastic!

The main issues…

Plastic is a cheap and easy packaging solution for many foods and drinks. We have tried to find alternatives to help us reduce the plastic we buy, but in some cases it would actually mean going without! Even items which look like they are recyclable on the outside, have a hidden plastic inside (e.g. cereals, boxed biscuits, boxed ready meals). Whilst alternatives such as food safe cardboard, glass and plant-based bags are available, until we as consumers demand them over cheaper options, they will continue to be high cost items.

Shocking amount of plastic in supermarkets!

What can we do?

You always have a choice! Think. Pause. Think. Refuse!

⭐Buy it loose. Most fruit & veg can be found loose in your local greengrocers or more frequently major supermarkets.

⭐Choose fresh over pre-packed. Buy items fresh off the deli counter and ask for paper bags or take your own reusable containers.

⭐Make it yourself. Sandwiches, cakes, biscuits, bread, meals, desserts taste so much better homemade.

⭐Buy in bulk, share with a friend, pay a bit more and buy eco-friendly versions.

⭐Go to a refill store.

Change your Shopping Habits

Doing the FoodSavvy challenge really made us think about not only what we buy, but where we buy it. There are now several places where you can buy loose produce – either to put straight into your own containers, in store bought eco-friendly containers or in recyclable paper bags. We revisited the wholefood store where we used to go to and loved that they had extended their loose range – we even bought loose olives!

Talk to Others

We have spoken to a LOT of people about this challenge, but it was a comment my nine year old niece made that made me look at what we had already! When we were discussing the challenge, she said “I’m going to look in the fridge and freezer, I think there’s a lot of plastic in there!” Of course, I had looked in ours, but only for getting food out – I hadn’t actually taken stock of all the plastic in there! 🛑✋

Be Mindful

If you stop now and think, I’m sure you can imagine all that plastic that is just normal purchases! We have frozen sweetcorn, frozen peas, frozen chips, frozen berries… all in plastic bags! It’s easy, it’s quick, it’s convenient and it’s usually cheap! So, back to being mindful! We discovered that we can buy peas and sweetcorn in tins which actually work out weight-wise cheaper than the bags! Chips – well, we can buy loose potatoes and we have an air fryer so that’s another plastic we don’t need! Okay, it’s quickness and convenience – so, I could make some and freeze them in my own containers so they’re ready when I need them! Yes, more effort, but much better for the environment!

Tinned goods have a long life and are just as convenient.

If you looked closely at the photo above, you might notice that there are tins of tomato puree! We were using passata which we bought in Tetrapacks, or tomato puree in metal tubes… not plastic but how do you clean a tomato puree tube for recycling?! So, we have switched to tinned tomatoes and these wonderful little tins of tomato puree instead!

Useful items (#ad)

As part of this campaign we were gifted several items to assist in our challenge. We love the reusable fruit & veg bags (seen above) and it’s great to have various containers for storage in the fridge or freezer. We also use and reuse tin foil and have a range of lids and covers that we love too.

Moving Forward

💭💭💭💭💭 THINK!!! 💭💭💭💭💭

That is my BEST tip for you!!! Before you buy ANYTHING stop and think! 🤔Does it have plastic? Do I NEED it? Is there an alternative? Will I use it?

Check out these tips from the FoodSavvy campaign.

Thank You!

⭐Thank you to everyone involved in this challenge!⭐

Thank you to Hubbub for organising the FoodSavvy campaign, with Suffolk County Council and Norfolk County Council. 🙂

Thank you to all the sponsors for the fantastic products! 🙂

Thank you to my fellow bloggers who completed this challenge alongside me this year including Cassie@cassiefairy, Hannah@TheLifeofPye, Catherine@PushingtheMoon, Georgia@SeeSuffolk, Laura@DinkyPix, Jax@LiveOtherwise, Holly@MissHollyP. 🙂

Thank you to all of my readers for reading, commenting and joining in this challenge! 🙂

Keep Being Food Savvy!

Please let us know how you found this challenge! What have you learnt? What have you reduced? Has your food waste got less? Are you buying less single-use plastics? Are you telling everyone about it so they can join in too!

As always, please drop us a line below… we’ll reply to everyone personally!

Speak soon

Laurena x

10 Comments

  • Eva Gallon 1st March 2020 at 18:33

    Hi Laurena, I’ve been reusing marg tubs for a while now, they’re so handy. On the subject of plastic, I’ve noticed a lot of people here buy fruit and veg loose but I wince whenever I see items like tomatoes and apples ‘exposed’ on the conveyor belt (I’m such a snowflake lol, I would always put these in a reusable mesh bag). I do like the idea of stewing fruit, I should do that more regularly. The truth of it is we need to be motivated to do all this preparation: I know it’s not difficult or even that time-consuming but it’s just the getting started lol. I’ve noticed that some frozen produce is packaged in cardboard here in Germany (like in the US) unlike all the plastic in the UK. I also think tomato puree/paste tubes are mostly a UK thing too from what I’ve seen haha. I like all the photos you used, by the way: the shelves and bottles of pulses and grains look so satisfying, I’m easily pleased lol

    Reply
    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 1st March 2020 at 19:12

      Eva we’re almost running out of space for our spread tubs- we use them for everything!👍🏼Oh yes, conveyor belts aren’t the most hygienic of things- sometimes I won’t even put my reusable bags on there!😬 Oh yes, stewing fruit is great- much easier to get started if it’s something which doesn’t need peeling though (get hubby to do the peeling)! 😋 Ooo, we need that cardboard packaging… I don’t see what the difficulty is if others are doing it already! I’m glad you like my shelves- I won’t tell you that I keep opening the pantry door just to look at my new jars!😋😂

      Reply
  • Eva Gallon 2nd March 2020 at 15:45

    I was wondering that about the ‘dirty’ reusable bags going into my fridge (especially right now when we’re even more concerned about viruses etc) but I try not to drive myself too crazy about it😯 Of course cardboard is better but you can’t put one of those plastic clips on them like you can with plastic bags (silly excuse, I know😁)- I tend to transfer the rest of whatever it is into either a reusable plastic tub/box or glass jar…speaking of which, I don’t blame you for admiring your display haha

    Reply
    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 2nd March 2020 at 15:50

      Maybe transport in the bags, come home, wash the fruit/veg, put in fridge/rack loose. Then wash the bags? I was even thinking about decanting the tinned sweetcorn and peas into containers for freezing… so I can just use a couple of tablespoonfuls instead of a whole tin… 😛

      Reply
  • Eva Gallon 2nd March 2020 at 15:47

    Oh, I hardly ever peel apples😊

    Reply
  • Eva Gallon 2nd March 2020 at 17:23

    Good idea about the tin decanting👍 No, I don’t really notice the apple peel to be honest- it’s supposed to be good for you too as I’m sure you know☺I prefer eating potatoes with the peel on too (even in mash!) but I’ve got into the habit now of peeling carrots and cucumber which I never used to do. Maybe I just want to use my fancy Oxo peeler for those lol

    Reply
    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 2nd March 2020 at 17:40

      What?! You peel cucumber?! That’s the best bit😋Oh yes, definitely potatoes skin on👍🏼I’ll try cooked apples skin on next time! Fancy peeler sounds good… does it do pumpkin and celeriac?

      Reply
  • Eva Gallon 2nd March 2020 at 19:17

    No, unfortunately it isn’t as fancy as being a whizz at peeling more ‘cumbersome’ veg hehe. I’ve now acquired a taste for peeled cucumber (unfortunately😉). I must remember to use the veg mandolin I bought a few months ago but not even used yet! I think I specifically bought it for cucumber salad too (very thin slices, eastern European style- from what I’ve seen). I forgot to mention most supermarkets here have a bin to put in unwanted or outer parts of things from loose cabbages, lettuce etc for pets! I presume you just help yourself to it lol

    Reply
    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 4th March 2020 at 07:54

      Oh gosh… I think I was bought a mandolin last year- I must see where it is! Love cucumber salad! Wow, what a great idea about the veg bin for pets… that’s something I’ve never seen!

      Reply

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