How often do you walk around the supermarket and end up putting more in your trolley than you’d planned to because of all the offers? More often than not, we get attracted by two-for-one offers or buy one get one half price deals, which can mean we spend more money and stock our cupboards with food we won’t eat.
In fact, these offers could be leading to families spending around £700 a year on food they don’t need, according to MPs. In total, this means the UK is throwing away around £16 billion worth of uneaten food every year, which has prompted the government to launch an inquiry to see how this could be reduced.
Politicians on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee have said that supermarkets could be “pushing food people don’t need”. The new inquiry will look at whether this really is the case and what could be done to stop shoppers buying food they don’t actually need and that could just get thrown away, while still delivering savings.
Not only will this help to free up some extra cash for each household, it could also cut down on the eight million tonnes of food that end up in the bin in the UK every year – half of which the government estimates comes from households.
Conservative MP and Chairman of the Committee, Neil Parrish, told the Telegraph: “As a nation there are more people living alone than ever before, but shops haven’t caught up with this. They should not be pushing food people don’t need – especially if it’s close to being out of date. It might be convenient for supermarkets to sell fresh food in large quantities but it is not always very convenient for customers, so this needs to change.”
While it can be tempting to pop more in your trolley on your weekly shop as you don’t want to miss out on deals, you should ensure you aren’t just buying things for the sake of it as this is likely to increase waste and expenditure. It pays to know what is already in your cupboards and freezer so you don’t end up buying food you don’t need.
If you do end up buying more food than you need because a deal seemed like it was too good to miss, you can always batch make meals and freeze what you don’t eat. This means you can stock your freezer with homemade meals that are healthy alternatives to shop-bought ready meals – just be sure to make a note of the date you put the meals in the freezer.