Save Money, Save Time, Save Our Spuds!

It’s time for more of us to reduce food waste at home. Did you know that we throw away 7.3 million tonnes of food each year in the UK?  That’s around £13 billion worth in total or around £60 per household each month.

That means that on average each person wastes the equivalent of two and a half main meals a week.

reduce food waste at home - newly picked potatoes in a bag

Now I don’t know about you but with Christmas looming on the horizon and the cheerful news that interest rates have increased for the first time in a decade, saving as much money as possible is a bit of a focal point in the Hobbis household.

According to the people at Love Food Hate Waste, a campaign aimed at helping people to reduce food waste at home, this means that we waste enough food and drink to cover an area the size of Wales which, given that I live in this beautiful country, is a very sobering thought indeed.

Here’s another thought – if we could prevent this level of food waste, it would have the same environmental benefit as taking one in four cars off the road.

If you, like us, bought diesel cars because you were told they were more environmentally friendly only to find this was completely incorrect, then you might find your car off the road anyway ….  but I digress.

Although this is a global issue, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to do our bit to help.  Small changes can make a big difference.

Saving food saves money and helps to slow down global warming and deforestation, and reducing the amount of food that ends up in the bin also means you can say goodbye to unnecessary packaging waste.

Now that the potato season has started, it’s time to Save Our Spuds and support Love Food Hate Waste’s latest campaign.

Yes, save the humble potato.  We buy 1.7 million tonnes of them every year but waste 730,000 tonnes – 46% of all potatoes bought.  I don’t know about you but given the amount of poverty in this country alone, that is a criminal amount of waste.

reduce food waste at home - mound of potatoes being sorted

But we’re all guilty of it, aren’t we?  The main reason so many spuds are chucked is that we don’t use them in time (50%).

Most are thrown away unpackaged (89%) and in weight greater than 800g – that’s 25% of all potato waste.

Part of the problem, I think, is that we all tend to overbuy.  Supermarkets seem to either offer 4 packs of baking potatoes or jumbo bags of white potatoes. And, hands up, buying them prepackaged is often far easier when you have two squabbling tweens at either end of your trolley.

Another problem is that many of us don’t plan our meals so buy our fruit and veg on a just-in-case basis.

The road to food waste hell is truly paved with good intentions – I am forever planning to cook a shepherds pie or sausage and mash and will cave in and dish up pizza or something ready-made.

Storage is another problem.  Our spuds are kept in a cupboard with things like garlic and lemons and usually appear slightly green and sprouty when the Husband finally rescues them to bulk out a curry or make a soup.

In case you’re wondering – here’s how to store spuds properly:-

  • Store them in a cool, dark, airy place
  • Keep them in their own packaging or put them into a cloth or natural fibre bag if you prefer
  • Store them away from strong-smelling foods like onions
  • DON’T throw out the sprouting ones – when exposed to artificial or natural light, they can develop a green colour due to chemical changes. But you can just cut off the green bits and still eat the rest of the potato

How many of us lob the green and sprouty ones away!

The humble spud is a brilliant standby for a quick meal, whether you just microwave and fill them or bake them for an hour in the oven with their skin rubbed with olive oil and sea salt.

reduce food waste at home - 3 bowls of leek & potato soup

Or how about a leek and potato soup, or even chocolate potato cake – which is a brilliant way to hide veg from your kids (yes I mean Ieuan).

If you are particularly inventive you could try making potato vodka although if you struggle to find the time to microwave a jacket potato you might struggle a bit with that one, although it might make school holidays slightly more bearable.

You can also use spuds in your beauty routine to soften skin and hair and even treat sunburn.

Or around the house, potatoes and baking soda are apparently effective at treating rust.

reduce food waste at home - fish and chips on newspaper

By LearningLark from United States (Modern Fish and Chips)

If all else fails, there’s always chips.  You can save yourself a small fortune by creating your own fake-away fish and chips which will be less calorific and better for you and you won’t have to go out in the cold and risk ‘accidentally’ purchasing 3 bread rolls, several litres of diet coke, gravy and a Clark’s Pie.

We can all do our bit to Save Our Spuds and reduce food waste at home with a simple shopping list and meal plan.  Given that food prices continue to rise endlessly, saving money, as well as our spuds can only be a win-win situation.


  1. 21 November, 2017 / 12:55 pm

    Fabulous tips and being Irish, we’re all about saving those spuds {and eating the LIFE out of them!} Yum, yum!

  2. Thena
    14 November, 2017 / 9:44 am

    Great post. I love to cook with potatoes. So versatile and easy! Mashed, baked, fried…i put them in my homemade potato bread!!

  3. Danielle
    13 November, 2017 / 7:59 am

    It’s crazy how much is wasted, and there is so much that we can do to stop it too. We love making crisps with potato peelings.

  4. 12 November, 2017 / 8:51 pm

    It’s truly shocking how many potatoes are wasted! I do love the humble spud. Nothing beats a plate of mash and gravy! 🙂

  5. 9 November, 2017 / 8:16 pm

    Great tips I have murdered many a spud from
    Incorrect storage

  6. 9 November, 2017 / 4:34 pm

    Lots of things to do with potatoes. My kids def like fries. So sad to know foods are being wasted when mostly don’t have much food on the table.

  7. 9 November, 2017 / 3:06 pm

    Wow, I had no idea that 46% of potatoes are wasted – that’s ridiculous! I try to minimise food waste as much as possible.

  8. 9 November, 2017 / 1:10 pm

    I think we are all guilty of food waste – but this post is eye-opening. Thanks for sharing – it is definitely something we all need to get so much better at.

  9. 9 November, 2017 / 1:59 am

    Wasting food is something that we should put attention too, and it all begins at home. Thanks for bringing this up.

  10. Sarah Ann
    8 November, 2017 / 11:33 pm

    We eat so many potatoes and I’ve always followed my mums tip of storing them in a cupboard. My gran always made homemade chips and it’s become a Friday family treat.

  11. 8 November, 2017 / 9:56 pm

    I eat so many potatoes every week, I love making homemade chips and in my opinion they’re nicer than the chippy (shock horror!) I didn’t realise how much potato waste there is until this post.

  12. 8 November, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    I am SO guilty of wasting food – those stats about potato waste are staggering though. It is horrendous, considering there are starving people out there 🙁

  13. Helen
    8 November, 2017 / 4:24 pm

    That really is quite a shocking amount of food waste. Especially, when like you say, we have so many hungry people. I’m quite good with food as I do shop quite frugally but I’m guilty of throwing away sprouting potatoes. I’ll definitely be using them from now on.

  14. Ting
    8 November, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    I love potatoes – they are my favourite carb without a doubt! Tx

  15. Bethany
    8 November, 2017 / 1:09 pm

    Potatoes are my favourite food ever, it’s hands down the most versatile veg about. As a chef, it astounds me that there’s so much food waste in the UK! We try our hardest not to waste anything.

  16. 8 November, 2017 / 12:07 pm

    Potatoes are probably my favourite food, so thankfully none are ever wasted here but I can’t say the same for some other things. £60 a month waste per household is a real eye opener. Mich x

  17. 8 November, 2017 / 11:10 am

    It’s dreadful how much we throw away as a nation. I work hard to reduce food waste but I’m learning more every time I work with Love Food Hate Waste!

  18. 8 November, 2017 / 10:26 am

    I’m terrible for chucking the green sprouty ones away – will resolve to make some soup in future as I do feel bad about chucking food.

  19. Margaret Clarkson
    8 November, 2017 / 6:12 am

    I’m shocked to read of the scale of the wastage. Thank you for a useful article.

  20. 7 November, 2017 / 11:12 pm

    It is rather shocking to read the statistics about food waste. Makes me feel very guilty when I consider so many people cannot afford to eat daily.
    That said, I am pretty good when it comes to potatoes. I usually use the older ones for soup, simply cutting away bits that don’t look too healthy. And I do find that planning meals, and quanities helps so much. I tend to buy so many potatoes per person, rather than a massive bag.

  21. 7 November, 2017 / 8:20 pm

    I hold my hands up I am definitely guilty of all the things you mentioned here! I’m a throw it in and hope I have some meals at the end kind of shopper (as my little girl is usually trying to escape the trolley lol)! I have been doing online shopping more recently though which has actually helped as it gives me time to sit back and think about what I really need and plan my meals etc!

  22. 7 November, 2017 / 7:51 pm

    I’m definitely guilty of throwing the green, sprouting ones away – and I overbuy! I’ll definitely try to do better!

  23. 7 November, 2017 / 7:03 pm

    That is crazy that so much of a percentage gets wasted! I’ll definitely be trying not to waste mine as much

  24. Jade Bremner
    7 November, 2017 / 3:58 pm

    I hate to admit it but we end up throwing a lot of potatoes away. We store them correctly and only really buy them when we know we are using them (meal plan) but we still end up with a couple of potatoes that end up getting thrown out. I try to use as many as I can and offer them to my mum before throwing them x

  25. kirsty
    7 November, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    It’s amazing at the amount of waste we have now isn’t it. Potatoes are so versatile and being able to know about food storage will help cut down on this I would hope.

  26. Angela Ricardo Bethea
    7 November, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    I’ve heard about this before and its time to take action, a lot of food is being wasted. I recently discovered a post full of recipes related to potatoes, thanks for the tips though.

  27. 7 November, 2017 / 12:10 pm

    I love potatoes, I always just cut the sprouting bits off and eat them, my partner wouldn’t have done that but definitely not wasting perfectly good food

  28. 7 November, 2017 / 11:38 am

    Oooh, I’m always throwing away green or just ‘off’ looking spuds but will definitely think back to this next time! I also really enjoy ‘homemade’ chips when I put the effort in to do, definitely a great way of using pots up!

  29. 7 November, 2017 / 11:00 am

    So yum! I love potatoes in every-way. They are always best when you are on the go.

  30. 7 November, 2017 / 9:47 am

    I’m terrible for throwing food out, but I always try and use my spuds, even if it’s just to make jackets and freeze them x

  31. 7 November, 2017 / 2:08 am

    Great entry….I do my very best to eat up everything I buy. I have a small budget and have to make the most of it so waste is not a question for me,I rarely throw anything out.

  32. 7 November, 2017 / 12:21 am

    I love potatoes I try and be mindful when we buy fruit and veg and buy what we know we will use. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and we end up having to Chuck some out but that’s very rare.

  33. 7 November, 2017 / 12:18 am

    I love leek and potato soup and I have it quite often but I had no idea how much food was wasted. It is crazy that the average person wastes two and a half main meals a week.

  34. melissa major
    6 November, 2017 / 11:22 pm

    I just love potatoes, you can make so many recipes with them. We usually keep the potato skin on because we think it tastes nicer

  35. 6 November, 2017 / 10:06 pm

    I have to admit there are some times I live on jacket potatoes as they are just so easy to make and you can put so many different toppings on them!

  36. Lilinha
    6 November, 2017 / 9:53 pm

    Jacket potato in the microwave is our go to meal whenver we don’t have enough time but fancy a quick meal. It is little man’s favourite!

  37. 6 November, 2017 / 8:59 pm

    We love potatoes and my daddy stores them in the fridge in the lower compartment. We usually get to them in time before they turn x

  38. Rachel Evans
    6 November, 2017 / 8:40 pm

    Yum Yum Yum. I love potatoes millions of ways! We have been pretty good lately about eating them before they go green or sprouted

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