We’ve all been guilty of wasting food, especially when the hot weather spoils fresh groceries even more quickly than normal.
But now TV chef Jamie Oliver, 43, has shared advice for how you can avoid throwing anything edible away to make the most of your leftovers and prevent food waste.
His top tip is how you can organise your fridge so that the groceries inside will keep even longer than normal – which means never keeping milk or any dairy product in the fridge door.
1. ORGANISE YOUR FRIDGE CORRECTLY
Jamie Oliver has shared some top tips for preventing food waste including his advice on the best way to organise your fridge. He advises keeping meat and fish in the bottom of your fridge and dairy in the middle. Juices and condiments can go in the fridge door
Jamie, who partnered with fridge-freezer makers Hotpoint to share his food waste prevention tips, told FEMAIL: ‘The temperature varies in any fridge as heat rises, so keep your meat and fish in the cooler part at the bottom, and foods like dairy in the middle.
‘Make sure you keep cooked meat on a separate shelf to any raw meat and keep the raw stuff on your lowest shelf.
‘The door is the warmest area of the fridge that is exposed to warm air every time the fridge is opened. Keep products like juices and condiments here.’
2. CHILL YOUR CHILLIES
Jamie advises freezing a few chillies so that you can use them to grate over dishes such as a curry, tomato sauce or some mozzarella
Jamie added: ‘If you catch chillies before they lose their freshness, or even when they’re slightly past their best, you can freeze them.
‘Then, when you want to add a little heat to a dish, you just grate it into a dish whilst cooking, or even over the top of a curry.’
3. DON’T CHILL EVERYTHING
Jamie told FEMAIL: ‘Only put things in the fridge that actually need to go in. Items like potatoes do not need to be in there, so store those in a dark, dry place somewhere else.
‘The fridge can make some food go off faster, such as bread which will keep fresher for longer outside of the fridge.’
4. MAKE HERBY ICE CUBES
If you have herbs that are about to go off, Jamie advises storing them in ice cubes with a bit of oil and freezing them so you can add them to meals in future
Jamie said: ‘A great tip to make your fresh herbs last longer is to freeze them before they go to waste.
‘Chop them, pop them in an ice cube tray with a little bit of oil, and whack them in the freezer. That way you can then use them whenever you need a bit of extra flavour.’
5. WRAP UP HERBS AND SALAD
Jamie said: ‘A great tip to keep herbs fresher for longer is to wrap them in slightly damp kitchen towel before you pop them in the fridge.
‘You can also line your veg drawers with paper towels which will absorb the moisture and condensation from the vegetables you store in your fridge, keeping them fresher for longer. But remember to change these with every food shop.’
6. FREEZE LEFTOVERS
Jamie says if you have fruit that’s about to spoil, chop it up and freeze it so you can add it to smoothies or desserts (left). He also advises freezing curry pastes and coconut milk in ice cube trays so you can add them to curries (right)
Organise your freezer into a library where freezer bags full of leftovers are labelled up with what they are and when they were frozen
Jamie said: ‘Freezers are like a time capsule for fresh food. It is like pressing the pause button, locking in nutrients and preserving taste, especially when it comes to fruit and veg.
‘If you have got some fruit and it is about to go bad, put it in a container and into the freezer in a container and they will be perfect for a delicious smoothie another day.’
He also recommends putting leftover curry pastes and coconut milk in an ice cube tray so you add these to a curry another time.
He also advises keeping an organised ‘freezer library,’ labelling everything you keep in the ice box.
7. BATCH COOK AND DOUBLE UP
Jamie revealed he always make double if not quarduple the amount of food he needs so that he has leftovers
Jamie said: ‘Portioning up food and freezing it is a lifesaver for those days you come home and just need something quick.
‘If you’re cooking something like a ragu, curry or stew simply make double the amount.
‘If you freeze it thin and flat it will freeze really quickly, and defrost really quickly, too.’
8. BLITZ BREAD
Jamie said: ‘Bread is a British staple and we have been making it for thousands of years, but research suggests that it is the number one most wasted food in the UK.
‘Instead of putting stale bread in the bin, cut it up into chunks to use another time as croutons, or whizz it up into breadcrumbs and pop them in the freezer.
‘You can use breadcrumbs on the top of mac and cheese, a crumb coating for healthy, homemade fish fingers or to add texture to tomato pasta sauce.’
9. PICKLE IT
Jamie also suggests pickling any crunchy vegetables you have left over so they don’t go to waste
Jamie added: ‘Make your own pickled vegetables with any random bits of crunchy veg like carrot, broccoli, cauliflower and cucumber.
‘Simply put it in a jar with some vinegar, salt, sugar and water and you’ve got a brilliant pickle. You can add herbs, mustard seeds and whatever else you like to change up the flavour too.’