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Reducing your food waste at Christmas

reducing your food waste at christmasDid you know the average household in Britain wastes over £480 worth of food every year? This typically means excess food that you buy, store in your fridge and then never get around to eating before it goes ‘off’.

At Christmas many of us take this to the extreme as our eyes become bigger than our bellies and we stock up on all the party food and trimmings we can get our hands on. Here are a few tips to be more frugal at this time of year, but still have a good time.

1 – Write a list and stick to it!
It’s so easy to get carried away when we go shopping. Supermarkets pull out all the tricks at Christmas time and it’s hard to turn down some of the excellent deals that you run into as you push your trolley around. However, a few days down the line that extra food that you weren’t planning on buying could be scraped or chucked straight in the bin. Instead, you should plan out exactly what you are going to eat over the festive period, including meals, drinks and snacks. Write all down on a list and stick to it as you make your way down the aisles. If you want to take all of the temptation out of the shopping experience, then you could even order online.

2 – Be realistic
It’s easy to get carried away with portion sizes, but how many of us end up over indulging and then bashfully searching Google for the cheapest gym membership you can find come New Years Day? What’s more, according to consumer goods giant Unilever, as many as 4.2 million Christmas dinners are thrown away in the UK every year – food that we thought we wanted but we became too full to eat! The average Brit spends around £112 on food alone at Christmas, but ask yourself, do you really need that much food?

3 – Make the most of your freezer
If you do decide to go for the 2-4-1 bargains and offers and you unsurprisingly end up with more food than you are likely going to eat, then make the most of your freezer. Free up space in the run up to Christmas and leave yourself room to freeze any unwanted food for later on. Leftover deserts, breads, cheeses, vegetables and some meats are all fine to freeze.

4 - Use your leftovers
What would Christmas be without leftovers? Your leftovers can keep you going for ages if you’re creative. Vegetables and meats can be used in sandwiches, soups, omelettes, fajitas, curries and much more.

Here at LSPS we take recycling very seriously. To find out how about we can help with your waste disposal needs please contact us on 0800 083 7807, or visit our website for further information.

What to do with unwanted presents?

what to do with unwanted presentsWe’ve all been there – nervously unwrapping a Christmas gift, knowing that your nan has yet again bought you a garish jumper or a bottle of your least favourite spirit. It’s not too difficult to force a smile and a thank you, but once all the festivities are over what exactly do you do with your unwanted gifts and presents? Here are a few ideas.

1 – Swap your presents
Just because you don’t like a present doesn’t mean that someone else won’t. Maybe your sister-in-law is feeling the same way about her third-successive ‘Selfie-Stick’ as you are about your Michael Buble album. Ask around the table to see if anyone fancies swapping – but try to be sly, you don’t want to upset anyone!

2 – Auction them off
Research from eBay suggests that every year we open around 115 million ‘undesirable’ gifts which equates to around £2.2billion. They also say that they see a huge rise in the number of listings in the days and weeks surrounding Christmas. Some items will of course make more money than others, and some items you won’t be able to get rid of no matter how hard you try. However, for the vast majority of unwanted gifts you should be able to list them easily and get a nice portion of pocket money to buy something else you actually want.

3 – Exchange
If you’re really lucky then you might find the receipt tucked away inside the gift wrapping. This is the perfect scenario really. Let’s say you receive a really tacky piece of jewellery, you can avoid upsetting the gifter by enthusing about the gift when you get it, only to return it to the shops in a few weeks. Just keep your fingers crossed that your relative doesn’t ask why you aren’t wearing it next Christmas!

4 – Pay it forward
One selfless option which will do a great deal of good is to consider gifting your unwanted goods to charity. Christmas is supposed to be the season of good will, and there is always someone in more need than you, and someone who hasn’t had anything to open on Christmas morning. Search online or in the paper for schemes operating in your area and get some karma points in return.

5 – Recycle, recycle, recycle!
Some presents you just can’t give away – and not for positive reasons. If you’re left with a particularly horrible bottle of whiskey, then you shouldn’t drink it just for the sake of it. If despite all your best efforts you can’t find a new home for it then pour it down the drain and recycle the bottle. Always be careful to open the item and filter out any recyclable packaging that could be used again and will avoid adding more waste to landfill sites.

Here at LSPS we take recycling very seriously. To find out how about we can help with your waste disposal needs please contact us on 0800 083 7807, or visit our website for further information.

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