Leftover sauces? Wasted spices? It’s costing us £700 million a year – here’s what to do to save money AND waste less.
Make the most of your favourite sauces and condiments, waste less, and save more.
Lots of foods are wasted in relatively small amounts, such as pesto, tomato puree, cook-in sauces but together they have a big impact on us financially!
In fact we waste 200,000 tonnes of condiments, sauces, herbs and spices every year in the UK.
Whether it’s half a jar of tomato sauce or a couple of spoonfuls of leftover jam it all adds up. Here are my top 5 tips to help you make the most of your favourite sauces and condiments, waste less, and save more.
1. Freeze sauces
Did you know that most sauces can be frozen? Just decant them into plastic tubs or freezer bags and freeze within the length of time indicated on the pack e.g. ‘use within 3 days of opening’. Don’t forget to label them! When the time comes to use the sauce, defrost in the fridge, heat thoroughly and give it a good stir! Ice cube trays are a great way to freeze small quantities of sauce, such as pesto, which can then be added to recipes straight from the freezer to add flavour – perfect to pop into a hot pan with cooked pasta, leftover veggies and any cooked meats that need using up.
2. Freeze herbs
Dried herbs and spices last for years in an airtight jar or container, they’re perfectly safe to eat they just won’t be as potent as when they were fresh. Fresh herbs can be frozen and used in soups, sauces or curries. Crumble them and drop straight into whatever you are cooking before they defrost, it’s worth remembering that they will not be any good to use raw as once defrosted they go soggy.
3. Homemade ready-meals
Why not fill the freezer with cost cutting homemade ready meals? When opening a jar of cooking sauce e.g. curry sauce, try doubling up and make enough food for two meals. You can freeze half for another time – ensuring you have a hearty dinner at your fingertips when you’re in a rush. Most meals will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
4. Re-use leftover gravy
Leftover gravy is great for making a quick hotpot; put meat leftover from the Sunday roast into an oven proof dish and pour the gravy over the top; finish off with leftover sliced potatoes and you’ll have a quick meal at the ready. Store in the fridge for up to two days and simply reheat thoroughly in the oven. Alternatively, gravy can be frozen in an airtight tub or bag and used at a later date as a tasty topping for sausages and mash.
5. Make a marinade
A tasty marinade could be a winner to pep up a pork chop or chicken dinner. Save any nearly empty jars of jam add some paprika, Worcestershire sauce, chilli, garlic, soy sauce or anything you like, put the lid on and shake the jar to create a marinade to add to meat when cooking.
Get creative! If you’re struggling for inspiration when it comes to dinner leftover sauces, herbs and spices often combine to make an unexpectedly tasty meal! Making use of what you already have will save you time and money too!