Arla Cravendale have asked us to monitor the food we bring into our home and the food that gets thrown away. Their team of experts will look at our food habits and find ways we can reduce our food waste, allowing us to save money and waste emissions. They have also sent me a “fridge cam” to monitor items being taken in and out of the fridge.
I kept a Food diary of how the challenge went. . .
Day 1 – Day one of the food waste challenge. I decided to go through the fridge and have a good clear out of any unused or out of date foods. I was shocked at how much food needed to be thrown away. I consider myself to be quite thrifty and really don’t like food waste so I couldn’t believe how many items were lurking at the back of the fridge! I took a note of everything that got disposed of to show the Arla Cravendale experts.
Day 2 – Now my fridge is empty of any out of date food it is looking pretty bare! I take this opportunity to give the fridge a good clean! The kids are complaining theres nothing to eat and for once they might be right!I’m going through the cupboards and fridge to see what food we have left and deciding on a meal plan for the week ahead. We have a fair amount of dried and canned goods but the fridge is pretty empty so I’m going to need to stock up on meat and diary items.
Day 4 – We’ve used up everything we can in the house and now we REALLY need to go shopping. I’ve sat down and made a shopping list. Then I get my laptop out and start my online shop. I do this while Autumn is in her highchair and also eat my lunch at the same time. Im sure many parents can relate to this multitasking. I find that I often end up buying a lot more than is on my list when I shop online as items are suggested to me by the supermarket that I impulsively buy. I’ve arranged a pick up slot for later this evening. My husband, Andrew collects it and puts it away. I find when I’ve ordered the shopping it works well if Andrew puts it away because then he knows the items we have and they are less likely to get wasted that way. If I order the shopping and put it away often things will be hidden at the back of the fridge and go out of date before Andrew realises they’re there.
Day 5 – Its Autumn’s birthday “party” tomorrow. Due to current restrictions we can only meet one other family for lunch but we are going somewhere nice with my sister and her family. I bought lots of baking items to make Autumn’s cake. They all get used apart from some butter which I will use to make some flapjacks through the week. Elle loves these for her snack at school.
Day 6 – We are going out for lunch today to celebrate Autumn’s first birthday! I had meal planned to make a quiche for lunch today before we booked to go out for lunch so I will have to remember to use up the eggs I had planned to use, before they go bad. Eggs are something we often end up throwing away as they go out of date before we use them all.
Day 7 – I remembered to use the last of the eggs and had scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast. I submitted my food diary and footage from my fridge cam to the Arla Cravendale experts. I look forward to hearing what tips and advice they have to share on reducing our food waste.
Day 8 – I Received Feedback from the Arla Cravendale experts today. They have given me some great ideas, for example planning my meals out for the week. I already meal plan but usually just evening meals so it would be helpful to start planning out breakfast, lunch and snacks too maybe. They also suggested I communicate better with the rest of the family which foods need used up so they don’t go out of date before they are used. One great tip they reminded me about is to not shop when im hungry or on impulse! I think we all know this and yet I’m really bad for rushing around and grabbing shopping whenever I can, instead of scheduling in the best time to actually shop when I have time to do it properly without rushing.
Day 11 – One of the things the Arla Cravendale expert spoke about was talking to the kids about food waste. This isn’t something I’ve really done to be honest except in an exasperated tone when they’ve not finished their dinner. I think over dinner tonight we might discuss the issue of food waste and how it affects our world.
Day 13 – Our shopping has run out and we need to go buy more food again BUT this week we have no food waste to get thrown away! We used everything! Just giving a little bit more thought to what we buy and how we use our food has made a massive difference in just a week. I plan to buy some more of the Arla Cravendale this week as It lasts so much longer than the supermarket milk I usually buy and the kids say they like it better too.
Day 15 – Since we had a full fridge of shopping I’ve been making sure I stick to the meal plan I made before creating my shopping list and I used the Arla Cravendale expert’s advice and created a mini whiteboard for the fridge to put little notes for the family about things that need used first.
This study along with Arla Cravendale and their food waste experts has been so eye opening. I didn’t think we Were a family that wasted a lot of food but I was shocked at how much we actually do waste each week. With just a few tweaks, like buying Arla Cravendale fresh milk which is filtered to last longer can really make a huge difference to how much food we waste and ultimately save us money.
If you are interested in receiving a free Waste Action pack, buy any bottle of Cravendale in Tesco during the campaign period, keep your receipt & claim your free Waste Action Pack visit cravendalefoodwaste.co.uk.
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