How much food is wasted at Christmas in the UK?

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Love it or loathe it, the weekly shop is a necessity for most households.

The UK has 27.8 million households and 19.2 million families all of which require feeding.  But just how much of the food we buy do we eat and how much do we throw away?

With Christmas just around the corner we at Wren decided to investigate how much food is wasted over the Christmas period with the aim of raising awareness of this important issue.

Our findings:

Over the week of Christmas, the UK will waste over £485 million on food, contributing 3% to the yearly cost of food waste. The biggest offenders at Christmas are Northern Ireland, who throw away 22% of all food bought for the festive season.

Food waste

When it comes to the rest of the year, food waste costs the UK a whopping £16 billion annually. Northern Ireland once again takes the unfortunate top spot, throwing out a fifth of their purchased food.

Food waste_weekly

Top ways to cut down on food waste

Our results have found that food waste in the UK is still a very serious issue, costing households billions each year.

To try and save yourself a penny or two, and to do your bit to waste less food why not try to follow our 5-step plan and reduce your household waste and food bill.

  1. Don’t over buy. Write a list before you go shopping and never enter a supermarket on an empty stomach. This planning will allow you to stay strict and only buy what you know you will use.
  2. Check the use-by dates of fresh food.Try and get the longest date possible, allowing you more time to consume the product.
  3. Plan ahead. Try and plan your meals for the week ahead, if possible, also include meals made from any leftovers.
  4. Freeze your food. Cooking fresh and freezing any food you will not use is a great way to make food go further. Always make sure you follow advice though before freezing/defrosting any food.
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