Panic buying during the coronavirus outbreak has made some of us realise how much we take food for granted.

Suddenly, there does not seem to be a limitless supply of fresh vegetables, bread and meat. And for some of us who have had a change in financial circumstances, saving money has become an important part of everyday life.

We are going through tough times. But on the bright side, it might serve as a wake up call for us to start adopting new habits that help us save money and reduce food waste.

Rachel Clark, a nutritionist at World Cancer Research Fund has shared some genius tips for reducing food waste and making food go further during the Covid-19 outbreak. We have added in a few of our own tips too.

1. Use fruit or vegetables that are past their best to make juice, smoothies or soup

Epping Forest Guardian:

Use fruit and veg that are past their best. Photo: Pixabay

2. Wrap veg in kitchen paper and put them in plastic bags

A handy trick is wrapping lettuce, carrots, courgettes and other vegetables in kitchen paper and then putting them in plastic bags in the salad compartment of the fridge.

They keep fresh for longer this way as the paper stops the condensation from softening the veg and also stops mould.

3. Keep veg stems in water

Try keeping the stems of vegetables such as broccoli, celery and asparagus in water to help them stay fresh and crisp.

4. Freeze your vegetables

Frozen fruit and vegetables are often cheaper, but just as nutritious as fresh and still count towards your five a day. Plus, they may be available when fresh stock is limited in store.

Chop up fresh herbs and store them in a bag in the freezer for up to 12 months.

Epping Forest Guardian:

The freezer is your friend. Photo: Pixabay

5. Freeze your leftovers

Freeze leftover sauces in ice cube trays and use them to flavour future dishes.

If you make too much rice or pasta, those can be frozen too.

6. Use leftover yoghurt in a cake or scone mixture instead of milk

Epping Forest Guardian:

Use leftover yoghurt when making a cake. Photo: Pixabay

7. Re-use vegetable peelings and chicken bone/skin

Don’t throw potato peelings away. Just sprinkle with pepper, chilli or other spices and crisp them in the oven

Or you can save up all your vegetable peelings and chicken bones and skin to make soup at the end of the month.

8. Refresh your stale bread

If your bread ever gets stale, refresh it by soaking under running water, then reheating on a moderate heat in the oven until crisp and golden

Epping Forest Guardian:

There is an easy way to refresh your stale bread. Photo: Pixabay

9. Save bread crusts

You can also make garlic bread fingers with the end crusts from a loaf. Simply grill one side, spread with garlic butter, grill again and cut into fingers.

Save sandwich crusts in a plastic bag in the freezer until you have enough to make breadcrumbs.

10. Buy canned or tinned foods

Canned or tinned foods are great for reducing food waste as they can be stored for longer. They can also be just as healthy as fresh options – just make sure you aim for tinned fruit in juice and avoid fruit in syrup.

And don’t forget not to limit yourself to tuna and baked beans – especially as they are unavailable in many shops at the moment – there are lots of fruit (prunes, peaches, pineapple), vegetables (sweetcorn, peas, asparagus), pulses (chickpeas, butter beans, kidney beans) and fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel) that can be bought cheaply in tins.

Extra tip: buy fish, beans and pulses in water rather than in oil or with added sugar and salt.