The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) is urging Australians to keep their pantry stocked with healthy staples to help minimise food waste, starting with a pantry clean-out to extend their food budget this spring.
On average, Australian households throw out the equivalent of one in every five grocery bags purchased, costing the average household more than $1000 annually. Combined, Australia spends approximately $8 billion on wasted food every year1.
‘These startling figures come down to cooking too much food, not checking the pantry or fridge before going shopping and not sticking to the list when we’re there ’ said DAA Spokesperson Nicole Dynan. ‘At some stage, we’ve all found ourselves with a few odd vegetables left over at the end of the week,’ said Ms Dynan, an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
She recommends keeping some lean meat, chicken or fish in the freezer and pasta sauce, stir-fry sauce, pasta and rice in the pantry, so that those last vegetables can easily be combined into a tasty and nutritious pasta dish or stir-fry.
‘Kickstart spring by cleaning out your pantry and freezer. Plan meals using foods already in the house but that you don’t use regularly. You might just need to add a couple of fresh ingredients to these to make a delicious and healthy meal. Using foods already in the pantry will allow households to save money at the beginning of spring, leaving more money to be spent elsewhere, such as on a new pair of swimmers’ said Ms Dynan.
And she suggests once you’ve spring-cleaned your pantry and freezer, keep these stocked with handy staples to minimise food waste and save money year-round.
‘Frozen vegetables, tinned beans, tinned tomatoes, packet or tinned legumes (such as lentils and chickpeas), herbs and spices are good to keep on hand as well,’ said Ms Dynan.