Almost a third of Brits admit to wasting food over Christmas – with 10 per cent of festive food ending up in the bin

MORE than 10 per cent of Brits’ Christmas grocery stores will end up in the bin this festive season, according to a new survey.

A survey of 2,000 adults who celebrate Christmas found that 61 percent overbuy to ensure they don’t run out.

Sandwiches turned out to be the most popular leftover dish


Sandwiches turned out to be the most popular leftover dishCredit: Alamy

However, this leads to half of them admitting to wasting more food than usual at this time of year.

And 16 percent find it difficult to gauge how much it takes to get through them.

But to curb the amount of food that goes to waste, 35 percent will force foods they don’t particularly like into the menu.

While 38 percent will give their guests leftovers to take away, 41 percent will try to get creative in the kitchen to use up their leftovers.

Sandwiches are the most popular leftover dish and 39 percent like to spice things up with a curry on Boxing Day.

Just over a third revolve around the traditional blow and squeak, and 31 percent toss their leftovers into a hearty soup.

The study was commissioned by Waitrose as part of its campaign to halve food waste in UK households by 2030.

To help customers save money and plan their meals carefully, supermarket chefs have compiled their tips for making the most of festive leftovers.

Zoe Simons, Senior Brand Development Chief at Waitrose, said: “Preparing for the big day can be a stressful and exciting time, especially now that we are able to host family and friends again in the wake of the pandemic.

“But both of these can result in people buying far more groceries at Christmas than they actually need – and unfortunately some of that inevitably ends up in the bin.

“It’s heartening to learn that so many are looking to reduce their waste, especially around Christmas, and we want to help where we can.

“So we’ve come up with some simple and exciting ways to inspire people to make something special out of what would normally be thrown away.”

The research found that potatoes, carrots and pigs in blankets are the most popular foods in homes on Christmas Day, followed by sprouts and turkey.

With such a variety of leftover foods to choose from, 49 percent would be more likely to cook with their leftovers if they had more inspiration in the kitchen.

When asked more generally about food waste, 27 percent said their household had a problem with it, but 48 percent said their awareness of the problem had increased over the past five years.

But the study, conducted via OnePoll, found that 54 percent believe food waste is a major problem that we need to tackle together as a society.

Zoe Simons added: “As is usual with environmental issues, there are often small changes we can make at home that can make a difference.

“No one buys food with the intention of throwing it in the bin, but with UK households throwing away 4.5 million tonnes of it every year, there are small steps you can take to reduce that waste.

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“From carefully planning your meals throughout the holiday season to making sure you buy the right amount for the number of people you are hosting to storing your groceries.

“We’ve also made it easier for our customers by selling odd shaped vegetables as well as forgotten cuts of meat – and we continue to work closely with FareShare to donate surplus food to families in need across the UK.”


• Take the time to plan, considering how many people you’re cooking for, how many meals you’ll be preparing, and considering that some are perfect for the leftovers from your Christmas dinner.

• Keep foods you can use at Christmas in the freezer throughout December – like bread for bread gravy or vegetable peelings for stock and gravy.

• Buying fruit and veg in bulk not only helps reduce packaging waste, it also allows you to buy exactly the quantities you need.

• If you have trouble calculating amounts per person, estimate as follows:

· Green vegetables: a large handful per person

· Roots (carrots/parsnips): two per person

· Potatoes: one large potato per person

• Leftovers from the main meal can be gently shredded in a food processor (think roasted carrots, parsnips and potatoes along with some turkey), then combined with a croquetteed egg coated in breadcrumbs – then air fry until crispy A tasty Boxing Day nugget, perfect for dipping in leftover gravy. Almost a third of Brits admit to wasting food over Christmas – with 10 per cent of festive food ending up in the bin


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