Brits could save the equivalent of two-and-a-half days a year – simply by using up their leftovers. A study of 2,000 adults found an average of 44 minutes a day – five hours a week – is spent preparing and cooking food, but 24 percent often feel they waste their time as so much of it ends up in the bin.
In fact, WRAP data suggests a whopping 25 percent of the food we cook ends up wasted, because we “prepare, cook or serve too much”.
The average home sees food leftover from two meals a week – but with these remains only taking an average of seven minutes to reheat to use for another meal, this could save more than an hour of food prep each week.
This equates to more than two days a year – enough time to watch a whole series of Love Island, with time left over to enjoy “me” time, hit the gym, or head out on a long walk.
If given those hours back, people said they would spend the time reading (38 percent), enjoying well deserved “me time” (35 percent), or with their family and friends (31 percent).
Love Food Hate Waste, which commissioned the research, has teamed up with TV personality and champion of eating well on a budget, Jordan Banjo, to share easy kitchen hacks to help re-purpose meals.
Jordan said: “As a dad-of-two, and a third on the way, I can absolutely relate to not having enough hours in the day – and as much as I love cooking, it can be time-consuming.
“It’s probably fair to say no-one enjoys throwing food away – but luckily, it’s not difficult to re-purpose your uneaten food and get that little bit of life back to spend with your family doing something you love.”
The poll also revealed 80 percent of people feel guilty about throwing food away – and 70 percent would be more likely to use their leftovers if they could turn them into something tasty.
WRAP estimates 4.5 million tonnes of food that could have been eaten is wasted every year from our homes – worth around £14 billion, or £60 a month for an average family with children.
It also emerged 66 percent have noticed the cost of their food bill has gone up considerably in recent months.
And 35 percent of those polled, via OnePoll, named price as the most important factor for them when doing their food shopping.
Respondents also said they were using energy-efficient microwaves (78 percent), slow cookers (26 percent), and air fryers (23 percent) more often to save money.
Jackie Bailey, from Love Food Hate Waste, said: “In our busy lives, many of us wish we had more time.
“One simple way around this is to use up those extra portions we often seem to have – a simple solution that could help you get some life back, and turn food we’ve already cooked into a second, delicious meal.
“For this year’s Food Waste Action Week, we’re encouraging the nation to “Win. Don’t Bin”, and highlighting the very real benefits that using up your uneaten food can have on your pockets, your personal time – and the planet.
“Even more importantly, at a time of rising food prices, tackling food waste at home is one way we can all make a difference – and help save money.”