Have a sustainable Christmas: Food

Published 10 December 2021

Christmas is often considered as a time of plenty, but it’s also the time of year where a vast amount of food is wasted. It is estimated that in the UK we waste 5 million Christmas puddings, 2 million turkeys, and 74 million mince pies each year. That’s a truly alarming amount, so we’re sharing with you some key ways to reduce your food waste, and consider some alternative options for your Christmas dinner.

We have already shared different ways of having a sustainable Christmas, from tips on decorations and wrapping to  more meaningful and sustainable gifts.  Take a look at some great ideas on how to save on waste, save some money, and reduce your impact on the environment in the process.


Plan ahead and avoid overbuying.

It’s tempting to try and stock up on treats and items for Christmas dinner, and we’re often worried there won’t be enough, especially if we’re hosting. It’s okay to buy a bit extra just in case, but keep an eye on the amount you’re buying as well as expiration dates, and plan as much as you can for meals coming before and after Christmas day. You can download lots of free meal planners to print off and stick on your fridge.

Reduce food waste by using leftovers

Take a look at these recipes for leftovers. You can quickly rustle up a tasty meal using leftover potatoes, veg and bacon in bubble and squeak. Top with a fried egg for a twist for boxing day! Use leftover Meat and veg in a curry, cheeseboard macaroni cheese or vegetable soupmeat and veg in a curry, cheeseboard macaroni cheese, vegetable soup the list is endless and easy to make as most things are ready from the previous day.

Freezer-friendly food

Side dishes like red cabbage, carrot and swede mash, stuffing and mashed potato freeze well. They can be used for the mid-week meals after Christmas day, or to reduce the amount of things that need cooking from scratch on Christmas Day. For ‘easy-freezy’ mash, make it in your preferred way and let it cool, then line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and make small mounds of mash (around 3-4 tablespoons). Flatten out, ensure they aren’t touching, then freeze for four hours / overnight. Once solid, transfer to a freezer bag or tub.The mash can then  be taken out easily in a variety of portion sizes and defrosted. Heat them up in the microwave or on the hob with a bit of extra milk or butter.

Go meat-free.

Consider a meat-free alternative for your Christmas centrepiece, and make a change from the usual turkey, beef and gammon. There are a wide variety of delicious veggie Christmas recipes such as nut roasts, or a  butternut squash ‘wellington’.

Share the love

Did you know a lot of Christmas leftovers can make a tasty treat for local wildlife? The RSPB has put together information on what food scraps are bird-friendly, and save on food waste.

‘Reindeer food’ is also a big favourite with children at Christmas. – Who doesn’t want to help Santa’s reindeer on their way to deliver everyone’s presents? Reindeer food bags you buy from the shops can contain a lot of glitter and other non-edible decorations that aren’t good for local wildlife to eat, but we have some handy recipes from the RSPCA to keep Rudolph,  and your local birds, happy over Christmas.

For more ideas on how to save money at Christmas, or to learn more about living more sustainably email sustainabilityteam@wdh.co.uk.

Contact the Cash Wise team on 01977 724651, or go to the Cash Wise website www.getcashwise.co.uk, email cashwise@wdh.co.uk, visit the Facebook page getcashwise or Instagram page getcashwise.


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