Skint Dad

Christmas leftovers

Waste not, want not! Don't let your leftovers go to waste this Christmas with a little help from Skint Dad.

For me, the best part of Christmas is being around my family and having plenty of food to keep us going. The obvious favourite for me is the Christmas Day roast dinner with all the trimmings. The turkey is the centre of attention, surrounded by lots of roast potatoes, stuffing, pigs in blankets, vegetables and cranberry sauce. Then there is Christmas pudding for afterwards, and probably a spot of cheese and biscuits when all the food manages to go down.

With all this food is bound to come leftovers. The people of the UK waste seven million tonnes of food and drink every year, which is equivalent to £12.5 billion, according to Love Food Hate Waste!

Rather than letting all this extra food go to waste (as we can all get sick of turkey sandwiches), with a little bit of planning, you can make sure you don't waste your hard earned cash and waste decent food.

Make a shopping list

Well it is Christmas, so you make a list and check it twice. When you’ve got your list all in order, you need to stick to it while walking through the supermarket. Otherwise, you may find you add all sorts of extras to your trolley that you don't actually need. Some food will undoubtedly get wasted and thrown out so save your money instead.

Use your leftovers

One of the best ways to use up leftovers is on Boxing Day. While there may be some extras bought like pickles, leftover turkey can, again, take centre stage. Then, you can use any other meat in a curry or a stew. You could also freeze what you’ve made for another day if you’re not going to manage to eat it, even if the turkey was originally frozen. Just remember to label it so you know how long it’s in there.

Any left over potatoes and vegetables can be mashed together and turned into a tasty bubble and squeak. In fact, we usually make a little more vegetables on Christmas Day to make sure we can make bubble and squeak! If you haven't tried it before, simply mash together the potatoes and vegetables with a bit of salt and pepper. You can add in other bits too if you have them to hand.

I wonder how many people ever finish off the half a jar left over of cranberry sauce? Use it up as a spread on toast instead of jam, use it for a cheesecake, stir it through ice cream, make a jam roly poly - just don't put it in the bin!

Get in some practice

Food waste isn’t just about people having eyes too big for their bellies and throwing it out. There is also an issue with food not being cooked properly, leading to Christmas Day dinner being binned!

According to research from Sainsbury’s one in 10 people have thrown out an entire turkey as it hasn’t been cooked properly! Brussel sprouts and roast potatoes have faced the same end when they haven't been cooked right and end up in the bin.

Whether it’s undercooking and serving raw food, or overcooking and burning it, mishaps in the kitchen are causing just as much waste. WRAP has found that an estimated two million turkeys, five million Christmas puddings and 74 million mince pies are thrown away at this time of year!

Instead of wasting food due to kitchen mishaps, make sure you calculate the time the bird needs to cook for, set a timer and check everything's going fine while cooking. If you’re unsure then it’s best to ask for some help as you don't want to have a wasted meal!

Use your freezer

Have any leftover wine? Perhaps not…but if you do then use an ice cube tray and freeze it to use in gravies, Bolognese or stews in the future.

If you’ve made a load of bubble and squeak then you’re in for some good news - it freezes well. So, if you do make far too much, then use up your leftovers and pop them into the freezer for another day.

Any leftover bread can be turned into breadcrumbs, whether you use a blender or even break them up by hand. We’ve always got a bag on the go and they’re useful for home made burger and meatballs, and work perfectly for breaded chicken too.

Happy Christmas everyone!