Planning to spend more time out and about this summer?

As we look forward to spending more time out and about this summer, many of us will be relishing the opportunity to enjoy good food outdoors. To help us enjoy time outside we’ve got some great Love Food Hate Waste tips to help us make the most of any good weather heading our way and save money at the same time by getting more out of the food we’ve already bought and wasting less.

Reducing the amount of food and drink we throw away can help the average family save around £50 a month; this could be put towards a summer day out, or simply paying the bills. has a huge range of tips and ideas from planning and shopping, to storing and using our food to help us make the most of it.

Why not make and enjoy a free lunch on a summer’s day spent with the friends or family? We can all save money by using up what’s already in our fridges – from last night’s leftovers to foods nearing their ‘use by’ date. Whether you’re off on a day-trip, or just spending the day out in the garden or at the local park, you can use up good food to make a host of lunches. From simple salads and sarnies, to tortilla and cold pastas. Why not try some of the ‘Great for Lunch’ recipe ideas at

  •   Use a cool box or cool bag with ice packs to help keep food fresh and tasty in the summer sun. Leave food in the fridge until the last possible moment.
  •   Leftover potatoes make a tasty salad when tossed with finely sliced red or spring onion and mayonnaise.
  •   Cold roast meat is delicious with pickle or chutney.


  •   Put frozen, previously cooked, sausages straight into your picnic bag. They’ll have defrosted by the time you reach your picnic spot, but still be nice and chilled.
  •   Why not chop up some spare veg from your salad drawer into little crudités for dunking into hummus or your favourite dip?
  •   Quiches make perfect picnic food and can help use up eggs, veggies and spare cream. Add flaked cooked fish or fry that last rasher of bacon and some onion for classic quiche Lorraine.
  •   Every day we throw away the equivalent of around 37 million slices of bread. Why not make picnic sandwiches more appealing by using frozen bread that’ll defrost by lunchtime – that way they won’t have gone dry or even soggy! Try chicken, bacon and mayonnaise; mozzarella and sundried tomato; cheese and coleslaw as interesting fillings.
  •   Pieces of fruit are great on picnics as they need little preparation. Alternatively, chop them up and take in an airtight box as a fruit salad, or set some chunks into mini jellies.
  •   Over-ripe fruit, including bananas, berries, apples and yoghurt, can be blitzed into healthy smoothies or why not try freezing any extra yoghurts from your multipack to take as a delicious frozen dessert?
  •   Spare lemons squeezed, combined with sugar and sparkling water make refreshing lemonade. Alternatively, sliced lemons can be frozen on a tray and then bagged up (once frozen) – store in an airtight container in the freezer to use as refreshing fruity ice-cubes in cold drinks.
  •   Grated cheese can make a salad more substantial. To store cheese keep it in its wrapping in an airtight container in the fridge or grate and freeze for sprinkling over salads and cold pasta.
  •   Every year millions of apples are thrown away. Why not enjoy them with salad leaves, a wedge of cheese, slices of ham and a spoonful of pickle – the perfect ploughman’s salad!When the weather warms up, crunchy mixed salads are an essential for al fresco suppers. In the UK we throw away half of all of the salad we buy so here are some tips to help liven up our leaves and stop them going limp:

     Keep salad fresh in the fridge – break it into leaves, rinse in cold water, dry in a colander or salad spinner and wrap it in kitchen roll before popping in a plastic food bag.


 Watercress keeps well stored in a bowl of water in the fridge.


About Roger Nield MBE

Safety Director for the SMPL Organisation and supporting our Vulnerable Veterans Programme.
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