Our 1MW members are all about solutions to wasting food…

For the past few weeks of 1 Million Women SAVE, we’ve been hearing from amazing chefs and cooks about how to make the best of leftovers.

Now it’s time to hear from you, our members, after an incredible 2000+ responded to our online food waste survey.

What a great outcome. You’re incredible.

From backyard chooks to compost piles, home vegetable gardens to worm farms, an array of leftovers recipes, food storage tips, shopping advice and so much more, the respondents to our survey offered literally thousands of insights, ideas and practical actions to tackle food waste head on.

Remember, our FOOD challenge for SAVE is to cut food waste by about 50% for the average home, which means saving about $500 per household over a year.

Over the last week of our FOOD month – it ends this Sunday, March 11th – we’ll be sharing lots of members’ feedback by the survey in our blog posts.

This post is focused on the two main multiple-choice questions in our online survey. Below are two bar charts showing how our members who chose to respond answered the questions.

  • Q1. Thinking about your own household for this question – How much do you think each of the following factors contributes to food wasted in your household?

So what does this tell us, apart from the fact that respondents to the survey are wonderfully committed to stopping food waste?

  • Well, the respondents really know what to do with leftovers, and most of the time they don’t over cater with food.
  • They also mainly are very good at checking what’s in the fridge and cupboards before going shopping, and avoiding purchasing the wrong things by making a list.

If they have weaker spots, they’re not planning meals and menus as much as they could, they sometimes slip up on monitoring use-by dates, and their leftovers can get forgotten in the fridge.

  • Q2. How often do you use some or all of these simple solutions to save food from being wasted in your household?

As you’ expect from the first question results, the respondents are:

  • Overwhelmingly good at making shopping lists all or most of the time. They’re also great at making sure they store food correctly.
  • They are fairly good at getting organised with using up their leftovers, but slip up a bit more often on tracking use-by dates and consciously avoiding over-catering.

The weakest point is using a meal or menu planner. Four out of 10 respondents aren’t using one at all and three out of 10 only use planners occasionally.

Here’s what a few of our respondents said about planning meals and menus, and making lists, as key ways to avoid wasting food:

  •  “I just can’t emphasise enough how important it is to plan your meals, to write shopping lists and just prepare before you go to the shops. I know I forget often, but when I remember it always helps. I’m trying to take my own advice!”
  •  “I’ve just started meal planning for each week and LOVE it. Not only does it stop me buying food I don’t need, it also means I only have to plan the meals once a week, not every single night. It’s all sorted.”
  • “I shop with a list. I only buy local fruit and vegetables (at markets) and fresh good cuts of meat from a local butcher twice a week. Everything else at the supermarket once a fortnight, so we know everything has to last 2 weeks. I have greens, herbs and salad in the garden. At the end of the fortnight when things look spare, I make biscuits or a cake, and we eat seasoned canned lentils, fish or beans with rice, or as paddies, with a fresh salad from the garden. A couple long life 1 litre milks in the cupboard help late in the fortnight. Plenty of crackers and cheese, or corn chips and fresh home made dip keeps teenagers satisfied. I try and support a range of brands to keep the “home brand” from taking over. We know what these corporations do to the small farmer. But I also support all the organic options if “home brand” is the only organic option, I will choose it. – APRIL”

One response to “Our 1MW members are all about solutions to wasting food…

  1. That’s fascinating. I have two Common Sense Cookery Books, one dated late 1930s and one from the 1960s and both talk about leftovers.
    There was also a recent book, published by ABC Books, about using leftovers.
    Maybe the whole MasterChef revolution hasn’t helped us at all. I think I read somewher that stats suggested more people were buying cooking mags and cookbooks but less cooking and more eating out. And, even at our place, where a lot of cooking is done at home, we’ve been encouraging our dependent adults to cook and it’s been fascinating to watch and realise how little they know. I don’t feel like I cooked any more as a child than they did but maybe home economics is so far removed from basic cooking skills now that these things aren’t learned.
    Interesting stuff. What do you put it all down to?

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