TECHNIQUES

Skill level

Easy

Is your freezer jam-packed full of mysterious foods from a time long-forgotten? Maybe your freezer is a stop on the way to the bin for all kinds of odds and ends you don't know what to do with. With a few simple tricks, you can eliminate waste and save money on food.

1. Save your leftovers by flat-packing them in bags that stack easily.

2. Make using up leftovers easier by writing the expiry date on the bags, not the day you froze it. Most cooked foods keep for 3 months. You'll find it easier to grab something that needs using up quickly, without doing the math.

3. Save leftover stock, coconut milk, chilli, ginger in ice cube trays to make an instant soup, straight from the freezer. Just add straight-to-wok noodles, coriander and any other vegetables you fancy.

4. Flash-freeze loose items like meatballs, berries, burgers or sausages if you want to use a little at a time. Place the food on a baking tray and freeze before transferring to a sealable freezer bag. Then you can use as much or as little as you need.

5. Know how long you should keep meat and fish to avoid the straight-to-bin syndrome:

- Bacon: 1 month

- Sausages: 2 months

- Fish fillets: 3 months

- Mince: 4 months

- Chops, chicken pieces: 6 months

- Roasts and whole chickens: 9-12 months

6. Save time in the mornings by packing individual silicone cups with smoothies, pasta sauces, macaroni cheese or stews. Pop out and defrost overnight in the fridge and they’re ready to go in the morning.