14 Tips to Avoid Food Waste When Moving Home
Moving house can be stressful time with so many plates to spin (and pack!), so food shopping and planning might not be at the top of your to do list.
Apart from perhaps boxing up the slow cooker (last used two winters ago) and dusting off the cake mixer (you only think of when watching Bake Off), and clearing out that corner cupboard no one looks in, most of us leave the packing the kitchen until the last minute. But that can bring its own headaches (and stomach rumbles).
In the run up to your you can by simply planning meals, shopping wisely and inspecting the cupboards (“There’s a Marathon bar in here! They don’t even make those anymore!!”) you can reduce food waste and the amount of heavy food you have to take with you.
Avoiding food waste is also better for the environment. You can also donate to food banks. Less for you, more for someone else who might need a helping hand. Win/win!
14 Tips to Avoid Food Waste When Moving Home
Plan Pre-move Food Shopping
Once your removal company is booked take a good look in your cupboards, fridge and freezer so you know exactly what you have left and plan what needs eating. Although taking your cupboard essentials with you is a possibility, eating up what you have could save you some time with one or two less boxes to pack and un-pack at the other end.
Get Creative With Leftover Food
Set your own Masterchef challenge with perishables goods in advance of the big moving day. It’s a fun way to try new (experimental?) dishes of your own concoction. Get the children making pizzas with those tins of tomatoes, or baking cakes to use up open packets. Moving can be stressful time for them too and having some fun activities in the lead up can really help!
As the big day approaches, start to limit the food that you buy and avoid putting long lasting products in your basket.
Only Buy the Essentials
Cut down on the big food shops prior to moving day and stick to the essentials. If you’re uber organised you can create a meal planner and only buy things you need to create those meals that also use up existing food in the cupboards.
Buy Fresh Food Before Move Day
Avoid buying frozen food, tins, packets where possible and switch to only buying fresh foods. It’s not only good to help reduce food waste and avoid over stocking ahead of the move, it’s also healthy.
Start Making Packed Lunches
Be a legend in your own lunchtime. If you usually pop out at lunch to buy food, switch to preparing a lunch to help empty the cupboards, use up overlooked food (I remember that cous cous!) and save some cash. Easy to make meals like pasta bakes and soups can use up lots of ingredients that are quick to create and easy to reheat at work.
Donate To A Food Bank
If you’re clearly going to have food left you know you won’t be able to consume and don’t want to take it with you, donate to a local food bank. Many small shops and supermarkets have areas to donate food for people in need. Make sure to check items you can’t donate. And don’t forget to check the expiry date in case that packet of Hobnobs have been around longer than you think!
Have Your Own Great Bake Off!
Eat your heart out Paul Hollywood! Literally!! Those packets of pink icing, flour, cake decorations, marzipan, hundreds and thousands of opened packets you really don’t want to be packing and taking with you. Get baking and treat everyone in the office to a cake day. You’ll be the toast of the HR department. You could even charge for cakes and donate the proceeds to charity.
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Make Munchies For Moving Day
Moving home is hungry work, so if you have things left in the kitchen the day before you move then prepare food to keep you going. Whether it’s a quick meal that you can eat hot or cold or a number of high energy snacks, making sure that you have food to hand can only be a good thing. Particularly if you have kids moving with you (especially teenagers!). Make sure that they have plenty of treats to keep them happy. It will not only offer a few minutes peace, it can reduce cranky, hungry, hangry youngsters. And don’t forget drinks.
Try A Little Tin-derness
Tin food can be bulky and heavy. It also keeps for ages, so check the dates, work out what you really need kept handy (pet food, family favourites and regular items) and get the rest boxed up and out the way. This will free up space for getting to grips with the rest of the food cupboards.
Have A Date Night
Take an evening to check the dates on all the food in your cupboards. Yep, when was the last time you did that?!? People are often surprised at just how long some food has been lurking, hidden behind the peppercorns (unopened) and dried lemongrass (ditto). The worst offenders are spices. That time you were going to start cooking curries from scratch (you never did and that was 7 years ago!), the spice rack that was a wedding present and has never spiced up the marriage dinner plates. Those emergency tins of soup you bought when you were nearly snowed in (2014!!). Check dates and either bin it or send it to a museum!
Prudent Packing Preparations
Ah yes, the three Ps; Prudent Packing Preparation. The last thing you want to find as you’re unpacking is spilled food, opened jars, Marmite covered everything! While packing sauces, packets, jars and bottles take an extra second to check the lids are secured properly. Also, if you’re packing your boxes yourselves, make sure you reduce room for movement and wrap all breakable food containers. Shield glass containers with extra padding and look for anything that could go pop (home-made drinks, fizzy bottles, squeezy containers).
Don’t Forget The Drinks Cabinet!
Ah yes, limoncello, Sorrento 2002, the ouzo someone brought you back from Greece (still unopened), that mulled wine you bought one December and have forgotten about every Christmas since. So much booze, so few parties. Well there’s no time like the present! Give your old home a proper send off and have a party to help say goodbye to all those spirits in great spirit. It’s also a nice way to raise a glass to your neighbours.
Moving Day Fish & Chips
Ah yes, the nation’s favourite, fish and chips! It’s a moving staple, a great way to say hello to your new home and have an easy tasty meal on moving day once the removal team have gone (seriously, make sure they’ve left the premises, our crews can smell a large cod, chips and battered saveloy from 100 yards!).
Book A Food Shop Delivery
Ok, you’ve done the good bit, you’ve reduced the cupboards this end, donated to food banks, fattened colleagues with cakes, got all the neighbours tipsy (“Sarah from across the road was doing karaoke… With the microwave!!”) but what are you going to eat week one in your new home?!?
Get organised in advance and book a food shop of essentials to arrive the first full day in your new home. It not only means you can feed everyone, but you can also get some of those other ‘must-have’s’ delivered (loo roll, hand soap, washing up liquid, etc) that you might not want to pack up and bring with you.
Armishaws have helped hundreds of families move across the UK, Europe and beyond and have a wealth of moving tips and handy hints. Check out our other blogs or contact feel free to email us any quick house move queries. We’re happy to help.
If you would like to chat to a member of our friendly team and discuss your move, then get in touch today. We understand that no two moves are the same and can help design a removal quote that is right for you.
Or we can just swap recipes!