Skip to content
  1. Do it online
  2. Login
  3. Have your say
  4. My Durham

There is currently a problem with our image galleries. We are working to get them fixed. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Love food, hate waste

Advice to help you reduce the amount of food you waste, the impact on the environment and save you money at the same time.

Did you know? The average UK family throws away around £50 worth of food and drink a month which is perfectly edible. Nationally, this adds up to 7.2 million tonnes of food waste per year. 

Like our Recycle for County Durham on Facebook page to get handy tips and information on reducing waste, reusing, recycling and composting

Plan your meals in advance

It pays to plan - you'll save time and money, and you'll always have something to feed the family rather than having to resist the opportunity to buy expensive takeaways or eat out.

Know your dates

  • Keep a check on the expiry dates in your fridge. 
  • Use up foods with the shortest dates first. 
  • Check if fresh foods can be frozen before you buy them.

Best before and use by dates

Best before dates are for food quality. You can eat these foods after this date and freeze them up until then, they just may no longer be at their best.

Use by dates are for food safety, ie food is not safe to eat after the date shown. Eggs are the exception as they can be eaten within two days of the use by date as long as they were cooked thoroughly on their use by date. 

Perfect portions

Catering for large groups, like family and friends, can be a problem. 

Use the perfect portions calculator to help.


Leftovers can be a great ingredient in new meals. Find some suggestions for what you can do with leftovers using BBC's GoodFood leftover recipes.

Save your dinner money by taking leftover portions for lunch the next day.

Store cupboard essentials

Keep a few essentials such as oils, herbs and spices, canned tomatoes and pasta, so that you can use them to make a delicious meal with any leftover fresh food from the fridge.


As a general rule, most foods will keep well in the freezer for up to three months.

Keep a list. Note things down as you put them in the freezer and cross them off as you take them out. This way - you'll always know what's in there.

Love Food Hate Waste are reminding our residents it's always best to buy fruit and vegetables loose rather than packaged. Their research has shown we can reduce 70,000 tonnes of waste just by buying loose fruit and vegetables. Find out more and take a quiz at: Love Food Hate Waste - Food Waste Action Week.

Share this page

Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Twitter Share this page on Twitter