Did you know that in the Netherlands, we never eat a quarter of all our food? All that food is grown, processed, transported, cooled and warmed. We put a lot of energy into it. It is a shame if we waste energy and raw materials by throwing away food unnecessarily. You too can help prevent food waste!

Looking for inspiration to avoid waste? You can help with these practical tips.

Tip 1 Check your stock

Before you go to the shop, check what is left in your fridge, freezer and pantry. This will help you avoid duplicating products. Check which products need to be used first. That way you know what you really need.

Controleer de voorraad

Tip 2 Make a shopping list

Before you go to the shop, make a schedule of what you will eat on which day and who will eat with you. If you go shopping once a week, it is best to make a weekly menu. That way, you won't forget anything and won't be tempted to buy extra products in the shop.

Maak een boodschappenlijstje

Tip 3 Kalso customised

Cooking just enough can be tricky. Especially with pasta, rice and couscous, as these products expand considerably when cooking. If you measure exactly how much you need, you can avoid food leftovers. A kitchen scale, measuring jug or measuring cup will help. Do you have a larger portion of food left over? Maybe you can make someone else happy too.

Kook op maat

Tip 4 Don't forget your leftovers

Label a shelf in your fridge and put all leftovers, opened packages and products that need to be used up quickly there. That way, you won't forget about them.

Vergeet je restjes niet

Tip 5 Look, smell and taste

Keep an eye on the best-before date and use up products in time. A product with a 'best before' date can often still be eaten after the date. Use your senses and look, smell and taste to assess quality. Highly perishable products are marked with a "Use by" date. This is the last day it is still safe to eat the product. Use or freeze it before or on the date.

Kijk ruik en proef

Tip 6 Store or freeze

If you store leftovers well, you can eat it fine later. Keep it in a sealed container to protect against drying out, bacteria and other substances. Use stickers to write down the contents and the date. You can keep most leftovers in the fridge for 2 days. You can also freeze leftovers. In the freezer, most leftovers will keep for 3 months.

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Tip 7 Make some goodies with leftovers

Making up leftovers always works! For example, in a soup, quiche, salad, omelette or stir-fry. With leftovers, you can make all kinds of new delicious dishes. Get inspired by the recipe booklet with tasty, waste-free dishes, for example. Download the free e-book with recipes.

Maak wat van je restjes

Tip 8 Fruit and vegetables from the freezer

Fruit and vegetables from the freezer are not only at least as healthy as fresh, but also keep much longer. You can easily remove the right portions from the freezer. This way, you prepare just enough and avoid waste.

Groente en fruit invriezen

Tip 9 Save old sandwiches

Regularly have (old) sandwiches left over? Did you know that the average Dutch person can save around 3 sandwiches a week from the dustbin? This makes bread the most wasted product while it is easy to prevent waste. Freeze bread and only take out the slices you need that day. That way you will always have fresh bread. Toast it when it is old or make it into a tasty sandwich or French toast.

red je oude boterham

Tip 10 Freeze fresh herbs

Freezing fresh herbs? Yes indeed! Finely chop the herbs and place them in an ice cube holder. Add oil, cover the holder and put it in the freezer. You easily remove the right portions from the freezer and then put them in the pan.

Verse kruiden invriezen

Tip 11 Check the fridge temperature

Set your fridge to 4°C. This is the ideal fridge temperature. Products will then stay good for longer and bacteria and mould will hardly have a chance to grow. Use a fridge thermometer to check whether your fridge is cold enough.

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Tip 12 Check the storage advice

Use the handy online Storage Guide and find the storage advice for more than 2,000 products. So you always know how long you can store an opened product, how to recognise spoilage and the best place to store your products.

Bekijk het bewaaradvies

Tip 13 Waste-free coach

Do you also throw away food more often than you would like? Then you can enlist the help of your own coach. The Waste-free coach is an app from Milieucentraal that gives you tailored tips against food waste. You can download the app from the App Store (iOS) or via Google Play (Android).

Verspillingsvrije coach

Tip 14 Put the right waste in the GFT container

You can avoid food waste by buying, cooking and storing smartly. Bones, bones and peelings can go in the bins. Do you actually know what else goes in the bins? Find out what does and does not belong with the GFT. Any questions? Mail our environmental coaches Ingrid and Nelleke, they will be happy to help you.