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NLWA's top tips for a super saving January - make the Christmas treats last into the New Year

Dec 19, 2012
It is estimated that 230,000 tonnes of food will be thrown away this festive period, including 9,300 tonnes of Brussels sprouts! North London Waste Authority gives you a step-by-step guide to making the most of the festive food shop – saving money and waste.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Chair of North London Waste Authority, said: “Wow! 9,300 tonnes of sprouts – that’s such a waste – although I’m not sure my daughter will think so! Most of us don’t want to restrict too much what we buy and eat at Christmas, but after Christmas day, you may find you have more food left over than you want to eat.  So we say it’s worth taking some time to re-assess what you have left so that the hard-earned money you’ve spent on food is not wasted.”

Plan ahead..

Which foods will not keep?  Which can be frozen?  Download NLWA’s meal planner to plan out how best to use up the leftovers over the next few days.  For example, any soft fruits and salad ingredients will need to be used quickly as they won’t keep and can be combined with cooked leftovers for some quick and tasty meals.

The day after - Christmas dinner leftovers recipes

Love Food Hate Waste has some great recipes for the leftovers from Christmas dinner that can make your Boxing Day feast just as exciting as the main event. Check out  for some fantastic ideas including ‘Roast Dinner Soup’, ‘Bubble & Squeak’ and ‘Christmas Pudding Ice Cream’.

It’s cool to keep it cold..

Freezing is probably the best method we have of preserving food so make the most of your freezer between Christmas and New Year.  This will help ensure minimal food bills (and more tasty treats) into January. There isn’t much that can’t be frozen. See the list below for some ideas:

  • Cheese – most hard cheese freezes really well.  Try grating cheddar before freezing and use it straight from frozen.  Stilton will not require grating before freezing and can be defrosted and enjoyed or used in cooking later on.
  • Meat – both cooked and raw meats are ideal foods for freezing as they won’t keep for long otherwise.  Slice any leftover cooked meats from Christmas meals such as turkey, ham, beef, etc, label and freeze in portions.
  • Lemons – if you bought extra lemons for drinks, or to serve with fish but find you have loads leftover, slice into wedges and freeze to use as lemony ice cubes in drinks.
  • Bread - bread and other bakery products such as rolls, bagels, crumpets and muffins are perfect for freezing and defrost quickly.  Slice bagels and muffins in half before freezing so that they can be toasted straight from frozen.  You will never have to throw any bread away and will never run out!
  • Cake – if you have too much cake and don’t want to overindulge, try freezing it in slices.  A single slice of cake will be a welcome treat in the New Year.
  • Cream – did you know cream can be frozen?  Many of us will have leftover cream at Christmas, so just whip it first and pop it in the freezer.

New Year, new challenge..

January has arrived, the freezer is nicely stocked, but the bank balance may be looking decidedly small. So it’s the perfect time to take the North London It Pays to Plan Challenge
This 'quick save' challenge will provide advice and tools to help you do your bit for the environment and reduce your food bills by as much as £50 this month.

The first 100 north London residents to fully complete and return the challenge pack will receive a food rescue pack full of helpful tips and tools for saving even more money in 2013 and will be entered into a prize draw for a chance to WIN a cookery class at a top London cookery school!

Go to to take the challenge now.  All entries must be received by 28 January 2013. For more handy hints and tips on reducing your food waste, visit