Tuesday, July 26, 2016

IKEA: 5 simple ways to reduce food wastage at home

I never consider myself to be a wasteful person until I started to cook for Emma 2 years ago.

It all began with purees where I steamed, blended and froze the food item. After 3 weeks, I threw few cubes away as I think they aren't fresh enough and made new ones. Emma quickly moved on to porridge and later on soups and dishes. It's not longer a simple affair. Since I only cook for Emma and love variety, it was sometimes hard for me to use up all the ingredients before they turn bad. Once a while, I received criticism from Hubby about food wastage and I usually just brushed him off. I was really focused on providing a healthy and balanced meal for Emma as much as I could.

But, he was so right! For every item wasted, I didn't just waste the dollars and wastes. It actually leads to more waste - waste of the farmers' effort, extra carbon footprints and increase waste. From today, I hope to embrace my weakness, learn to be less wasteful and contribute towards the sustainability of the world.

Here's some ways to reduce food wastage and I hope to turn them into habits as a new mummy cook.

5 simple ways to reduce food wastage at home:


1. Shop wisely

Things get really effective and cost saving on those good days when I shop wisely - Plan my meals, make a shopping list, check out stock before shopping (!!) and avoid impulse buying. It get hard on some days but practice always make it perfect!

I love to use my phone to keep a list of dishes I like to cook and ingredient needed. Due to the limited storage space and being near to supermarket, I don't like to buy in bulk. I think it works in some sense to reduce waste especially for us who don't use them up fast enough.

2. Stack and Store

I was totally guilty of the "out of sight, out of mind" syndrome. My food drawer was messy and overcrowded with forgotten and expired food items in the deep drawer. Sometimes, I just buy as I can't remember if I have one at home. In fact, I had to throw 2 big bags of expired stuff during the clean up.
After I moved food items out of the deep drawer into IKEA 365+ dry food jar and labeled TILLSLUTA containers, I can now know what food items I have at a glance. And when we see them, we tend to eat them!

My mini food pantry looks much neater now! By the way, don't forget to paste the expiry date at their base. I wrote on post sticks and taped the whole piece at the bottom.

TILLSLUTA containers | IKEA 365+ dry food jar 


Practice First in First Out (FIFO) when storing and using the food items. It helps by moving older products to the front and placing new products at the back when unpacking. I find this method very useful for freezing fresh produce.

I love ISTAD plastic bags as they are brightly coloured and comes in various sizes. I used them to store opened packets of noodles and vegetables. I also learnt from my MIL that wrapping them in paper towel helps to extend the lifespan of vegetables.

4. Freeze surplus fresh produce 

As much as I could, I would freeze the meats in small portions right from the start. Since I don't use them up fast enough, I just had to extend their lifespan by freezing. I usually thaw them the night before in the chiller shelf.

5. Cook (More) and Save Leftovers

Among the 5 ways, the best way to reduce waste for me is to cook more - as in cook for the 3 of us instead of just for Emma and cook more frequently. It's hard as working mum but I have friends who managed them and I determined to pick up the precious skill someday!
I keep left over soup in the fridge so that I can heat them up for the next day. There are many more freezer friendly recipes can help to reduce food waste too! PRUTA food containers will come in handy! I missed them out on my previous visit and hoping to get some the next round.

Towards Sustainability!

The world will be a better place for our next generation if everyone just do their small part towards sustainable living. For the start, come join me in reducing food wastage at home while providing the healthy home cooked food for the family!

This is my 3rd post for IKEA blogger program 2016. All photos and ideas are my own.


Thank you for reading and I welcome you to link up on Facebook & Instagram! :D See you around!


  1. Hi Ashlyn,I love your spacious and tidy kitchen a lot! Btw,are the Tillsluta containers air tight? I saw that they are quite neat but bit concerned that they are not air tight.

    1. Thanks for your kind comment! I think Tillsluta containers are the tightest among all. What do you like to keep it them? I keep rice and the other for dried noodles.

  2. OMG... I hear you about messy storage and having food in the cupboard / fridge that i totally forgot about and finding them only after they have expired!! I should practice the first in first out rule!

  3. The dry food jars look great for storing pasta and rice. I should get me some of those the next time I go to IKEA. Your table top looks so neat and tidy by the way.

  4. I spot the Dyson vacuum heheheh I bought that Vareira Shelf Insert too! Really helped with making full use of space! Jia you on cooking meals for the family even though you are a ftwm. It's tough but I'm sure you can do this =)

  5. Hi Ashlyn,
    May I know where you got your kitchen paper towel holder as i have been looking for one like that? Thanks!