Clever ways to keep food waste down - part 1

Sustainability is a huge topic right now, and we love to see it.

We’ve been really excited by the recent release of the new show Cook Clever Waste Less. During this programme, families are taught to cook more effectively, using food that they would have otherwise chucked away.

This helps to cut down food waste and save them money, while creating delicious meals that the whole family can get stuck into - talk about a win-win.
The show is hosted by the fantastic duo Dr Rupy Aujla, and Bake Off judge Prue Leith. Between them, they know just about all there is to know about nutrition, making different foodstuffs shine, and creating sensational dishes.

It’s a simple concept, but one which has the potential to bring huge benefits to the family that the team will be working with. We can’t wait to tune in to the show.

The UK’s food waste problem

According to FareShare, the largest redistribution charity in the UK, in just the last 12 months, they have been given 450 tonnes of chicken, more than 320 tonnes of pasta, and 2,000 tonnes of potatoes. In fact, all of this food was completely safe to eat, but it would have gone into the bin if it hadn’t been for them.

In a similar piece of research undertaken by WRAP, it was found that as much as 70% of food that is disposed of in the UK comes from UK households. And, in an even more unnerving statistic, the UK throws away 6.6 million tonnes of food, but 4.5 million tonnes of it would have been entirely safe to eat.

We wanted to take inspiration from the approach of this programme, and dedicate this blog to helping families waste less food.

So, below, you will find five of our top tips to reduce food waste in your home (the other five will be coming up in our next blog, so keep your eyes peeled).

1. Think about how you shop

To really tackle the problem head on, we need to start by thinking about how you buy food in the first place.

When we’re in the supermarket, it’s all too easy to spot things that we fancy, and pop them into the trolley without much thought.

You’ve spotted a punnet of berries on offer? Too many of us would be swayed by the savings and buy them, even though we’ve got some perfectly good fruit at home, which certainly won’t remain at peak ripeness forever.

So, when you head out on your food shops, adopt a more waste-conscious mindset. In true Rebecca Bloomwood (from the film Confessions of a Shopaholic) fashion, repeat your new mantra to yourself - ‘I will only buy what I need’.

You can help yourself here by carefully planning your food shops, writing clear food shopping lists, and keeping a close eye on what you have in stock. It’s a really simple concept, and that’s the beauty of it.

2. Utilise the pantry

Pantries are a home cook’s best friend. They should be your point-of-call for as much cooking as possible, because the food that you store there will have a much longer shelf life.

Ingredients like rice, pasta, grains, tins of fruit and veg, flours and spices should be kept in your store cupboard. These dried or sealed ingredients are used in a huge range of dishes, and won’t go off for absolutely ages.

Keep your pantry thoroughly organised, so that you can use it to the best possible advantage. This simple job is a fantastic way to keep your entire week’s meals on track.

Also, be sure to keep it well topped-up. This way, when you see an ingredient that needs to be used up that evening, you can browse through your store cupboard staples, and easily find some other ingredients to accompany it.

3. Cook with canned and frozen fruits and vegetables

Building on the point above, if it’s possible to do so, always try to buy a canned version.

This may sound a little bit cheap (or like you’re sacrificing the quality of your dinner), but actually it’s a great way to waste less food at home, especially if you live alone.

This includes, just to name a few, things like mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, sweetcorn, or chickpeas.

Cans have much, much longer shelf lives than fresh food. So, by buying a canned version of a product, you don’t need to worry about using it up within a couple of days. Plus, there’s the added bonus of handily keeping the ingredient on-hand whenever you need.

4. Be flexible with your recipes

When it comes to reducing food waste, being flexible and creative with your cooking is a great ability to have under your belt.

This comes with confidence, of course, but remember that recipes don’t have to be followed to the letter. If you find a recipe that you want to try, but you’ve got (for example) no apples in stock, swap them for the pears that you already have in the fruit bowl.

These adjustments will ensure that you use up what you’ve already got, rather than buying new stuff in, so will help you cut down your food waste and save money, too.

5. Use the FridgeCam best before feature

The FridgeCam is full of intelligent features, which are designed to help you reduce food waste in your home.

One such addition is the best before feature. With this, you can use the FridgeCam to track the use by dates of your food. Simply open up the app, and see a list of the items in your fridge. Alongside each item, you’ll be provided with key details, including their use by date.

With this handy tool, you will have a much clearer insight into what’s in your fridge, and what needs to be used up ASAP.


An eco-conscious approach is a huge part of what we do at Smarter. Our FridgeCam is a fantastic example of this. We’re all about helping our customers to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly in their day-to-day lives.

So, if you’re keen to cook in a more eco-conscious fashion way, be sure to have a scroll through the Smarter online store, and check out our range of homeware products.

Written by Josephine Walbank