Five ways to reduce food waste and save money

£13 billion of food was wasted in 2015

A woman on a gluten free diet is saying no thanks to toast

We wasted £13 billion of perfectly good food in 2015, producing 7.3 million tonnes of food waste.

The findings of a study by Waste and Recycling Action Programme (WRAP) show the first increase in household food waste in years.

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WRAP and its consumer campaign, Love Food Hate Waste, are now calling on everyone to help push this figure down.

So what can you do to reduce the £700 of food each household wastes every year?

1. Think about what you waste

In Wales, homes waste 10% less than the national average and WRAP think this might be because nine in 10 homes there have separate food waste collection. This means people can see exactly how much food they are throwing away.

2. Check your cupboards

Before you go to the supermarket and buy everything you need for dinner, stop for a minute. Have a look through your cupboards and check in the fridge and freezer for open packets and food near its use-by-date. This will encourage you to use up what you already have.

3. Make a shopping list

The best way to avoid doubling-up on things and unnecessary food purchases is to make (and stick to) a shopping list. Not only will you throw less food away, but you could save as much as £200 a year, according to Money Advice Service research.

4. Make friends with your freezer

Your freezer is one of your best weapons against food waste. It's a great way to make the most of BOGOF deals, make food last longer and keep any extra dinner for another time. Just make sure food is well wrapped and remember food doesn't last forever in the freezer.

5. Love leftovers

Some of the best-known British classics, from Lancashire Hotpot to Shepherd's Pie, were designed as a way to use up leftovers. So don't just throw the last few bits in the bin. Be part of this proud tradition and turn them into something delicious.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.