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Ways to make your food budget go further while cutting down on waste

What was once an eco-friendly act is now becoming an urgent necessity to make ends meet.

With inflation on the rise, the fight against food waste is taking on a new dimension, and it’s likely to lead to new habits as households look for ways to save money. Here are three easy things you can try right away.

Get a food waste app

Have you ever heard of apps like Too Good To Go, Karma or Olio? They basically give users access to unsold or uneaten goods at very low prices. Whether it’s from supermarkets, local shops, restaurants or bakers — or even your neighbours — they recover whatever’s left over to help avoid it ending up in the trash. Available to download for free from Google Play or the App Store, such apps help you locate leftover food near an address that you enter. You can check the list of each app’s partner businesses on their respective websites. The Too Good To Go app is a real hit, with more than 10 million downloads.

Preserving food in jars

Preserving food in jars is probably the oldest anti-waste tip in the world, yet it remains as relevant as ever. To try your hand at this trick, there are a few basic principles to follow, as outlined by the leading French preserving jar brand, Le Parfait.

First, always clean your jars with soapy water. Rinse them with hot water and let them air dry. Always prepare fresh vegetables or fruit, never use frozen food. Whatever you use, it should be rinsed beforehand. Do not use a wooden spoon to prepare your jars or cans, as this can potentially contain germs or bacteria. Add the food, then fill the jars right the way up with boiling water. Note that jars can also be prepared with salt, oil or vinegar. Always scald the rubber rings that seal the lid to the jar before closing. Finally, homemade jars of preserves should be stored in a cool, dry place and always away from light.

Keep bread for longer and use up leftovers

With price inflation notably affecting flour and cereal-based products, it’s a case of waste not, want not, when it comes to bread. For starters, don’t buy loaves sliced, as this will help the bread stay fresher for longer.

The association France Nature Environment shares another tip: Place an apple in the bread basket, before wrapping the bread in a cloth dish towel. That way, your bread won’t end up with a crust as hard as concrete straight away! Finally, don’t forget that you can turn stale bread into French toast by rehydrating it in a mixture of egg, milk and vanilla sugar. You can also make croutons to add to homemade gazpacho, or grind it into breadcrumbs. Old bread can even be transformed into a pudding and served for dessert. This involves putting any kind of bread in a preparation of milk, flour, eggs, dried fruit and sugar, before baking it in the oven. 

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