Love Christmas food, hate festive waste

Do you have left over food after Christmas and don’t know what to do with it? Bored of Turkey sandwiches? Read on for some top tips and advice on avoiding leftover food this festive season…

Christmas meal

Did you know that Scots throw away up to 566,000 tonnes of food every year! That is a lot of food that is bought but never eaten! It can cost the average resident between £430 and £550 per year on wasted food alone. Over two thirds of our household food waste could have been avoided if we had planned, stored and managed it better so here are some top tips.

How to cut down on food waste this festive season:

  • Plan the big Christmas shop. Planning in advance can make a big difference. Making a shopping list will make the trip quicker, less stressful, cost you less money and leave you with less food waste. Win: win!
  • Check your cupboards, fridge and freezer before you go to the supermarket to see how much space you have and what you have in there to use up first.
  • Think about what meals you are going to make especially for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
  • Take into account how many people you are catering for this year and do some portion planning. Are there any family members with a big appetite?
  • If you are concerned about extra guests make sure the extra food you buy can be stored in your freezer in case you don’t use it up straight away.
  • Make sure you store things in the fridge correctly. Keep your meat and fish on the bottom shelf. If you can, store leftovers in sealed boxes or cover the plate with cling film.
  • Store your fruit, vegetables and salad in the fridge to keep them fresh but don’t keep your bananas or tatties in there just keep them somewhere cool and dark. Keep your bread out of the fridge as it will actually go stale quicker.
  • Did you know you can freeze bread, cheese and yoghurt to use later?

Here’s a handy guide to stocking your fridge…


Keep an eye on the date labels. The use by date is a safety label so food must be used by this date, whereas the best before date is just a guideline on the quality of food. The item can be eaten after the best before date but it will probably not be at its best in terms of taste and texture.

After your Christmas meal, you will probably have leftovers but don’t throw them out. Let them cool and then store in the fridge for up to two days.

Leftover meat can be eaten cold but if you do reheat it make sure it is piping hot and cooked all the way through.

Like many people, Christmas is my favourite time of year and the food is always a highlight so don’t let any of it go to waste! There are a lot of recipes out there for using up festive leftovers so why not try something different this year?

Pick up one of our recipe books for some great recipe ideas on using up your leftovers all year round or download it here!

Love Your Food Book

Or check out the Love Food Hate Waste recipe page. They have lots of recipe ideas including plenty of festive leftovers!

Here are some of our favourite recipes that we have found for using up those leftovers this Christmas….

You can’t go wrong with a traditional Bubble and Squeak!

Bubble and squeak

Bubble and Squeak

This curry recipe is full of flavour!


Peanut butter turkey and coconut curry

So quick and easy!


Cheese leek and potato tortilla

No one can resist a hot turkey sandwich. Relive the Christmas Day meal with this leftovers recipe!


Hot turkey Sandwich

Remember food can take up to a third of the space in our bin so keep it out- use your food recycling service! Even out of date food can be recycled. Find out more at our website- we have information for whether you have a brown bin for food recycling or an on street food waste bin.

Or contact the team for more information at

Keep in mind that you can still add food to your compost bin over the winter months. We have some available at the discounted price of £10, simply phone 08456 080919 to order yours.

You can check out our previous blog post on composting by clicking here.

And finally, Merry Christmas from the waste and recycling team. It’s been a great year and our recycling rate is on the increase so well done Aberdeen! Here’s to more recycling in 2015!


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