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BBQ on a Budget

Top tips from Recycle Devon to make the most of your budget and reduce food waste

BBQ on a budget

In the UK, we love a good barbecue! What could be better in the warmer weather than having friends and family over for delicious food and drink.

Many of us spend upwards of £35 on food or drink for every barbecue we throw. Recycle Devon’s ideas on how to save money and reduce food waste will help your barbecue budget go further as costs continue to rise.

Keep food fresh

Check your fridge temperature – it should be below 5°C to help food stay fresher for longer.

If you have lemons or limes that you’re not going to use in time, cut them into slices or wedges and store in the freezer to use in drinks.

Fruit (such as strawberries, grapes and blueberries) and fresh herbs (such as mint) can be added to water in trays and frozen to make fun ice cubes.

Use a cool box or bag to keep food fresh and tasty when it’s stored outside.

Place salad leaves in a bowl of cold water to revive their freshness. Remove leaves, pat dry with a clean tea towel and serve!

Use what you already have

Instead of buying pre-packaged side dishes, go through your cupboards and fridge to see which ingredients could be transformed. Store-cupboard essentials (such as dried noodles, pasta and couscous) can be great for bulking up a barbecue side salad.

Check if you have any vegetables that need using up. Courgettes, aubergines, peppers and tomatoes can all be sliced, brushed with olive oil and chargrilled until soft on the barbecue. Carrots, cucumbers and peppers can be chopped into sticks and served with a dip.

Fresh herbs that are starting to wilt can be added to olive oil and used as a marinade for meat, fish and vegetables.

Make do

Check apps such as Olio and Too Good to Go for surplus food that’s being sold cheaply or perhaps being given away for free locally.

Ice lollies are always a hit with the little ones. They can be made using any fruit juices, smoothies or yoghurts, and an ice lolly mould.

Bread that’s starting to go stale can be made into croutons – a tasty addition to any salad.

When the barbecue is over, don’t waste any leftover food. If you’re not going to eat it, invite your guests to take some home.

Wrap leftover meat and keep it in the fridge – it will be good for two days. If you’re not going to use it in time, pop it in the freezer for a later date.

If your bread rolls have gone dry, they will still be great when toasted. Alternatively, you can turn them into breadcrumbs and freeze them – ideal for making stuffing, bread sauce or with cheese for a gratin topping.

Leftover potatoes make a great salad – simply add some spring onions and mayonnaise!

Make use of your food waste collection

Most households in Devon now have a food waste collection service. If you have any food waste left, you can put the following items in your food waste caddy (in participating areas).

Yes please:

  • All cooked and uncooked food waste
  • Bread and pasties
  • Dairy produce
  • Eggshells
  • Fish and bones
  • Fruit and vegetables, including peelings
  • Meat and bones
  • Pasta and rice
  • Teabags and coffee grounds
  • Uneaten pet food and cut flowers

No thanks:

  • Compostable packaging
  • Garden waste
  • Anything other than food waste, uneaten pet food or cut flowers

Don’t forget, you can use any bag to line your kitchen caddy, such as an old bread bag, empty salad bag, frozen food bag, old carrier bag, compostable bag or some newspaper to keep it clean.

For more tips on how to save money and reduce food waste, visit: recycledevon.org.

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