How to enjoy Christmas while reducing your food waste

uploaded on 22 December 2023

Christmas is a time of joy and, especially when it comes to food, treating yourself to a little extra.

But every year the festive season also gives you a chance to create your own, original traditions. Christmas can be an overwhelming time where social pressures and norms sometimes nudge us towards overspending and overbuying on food. Now, it doesn’t have to be.

Here at Edenred we’re passionate about reducing food waste, so this year we’ve outlined how you can enjoy your Christmas to the fullest while adding in some new practices that can cut down on the amount of food you throw away, helping the planet and your wallet.


Welcome family and friends by offering just the right amount of food

Quite often we want to be seen as generous hosts by providing more food than people can eat which then ends up in the bin. 

Why not try:

  • Bringing back serving dishes so people can help themselves and have seconds if they're still hungry – beats binning food left on plates.
  • Using smaller plates so regular portions look normal when served, then encourage people to ask for more if they are still hungry.
  • Adding festive decorations to your table rather than filling up the empty space with more food than you can eat.
  • Baking party food from frozen creates less waste, and it’s easy to throw some more in the oven if you run out or unexpected guests arrive.
  • Serving just the right amount of food e.g. potatoes, sprouts, carrots, by using a portion calculator.


Give yourself a break

Some tricks to make mealtimes easier.

  • Leave space in your meal plans to use up what you already have at home – mix and match to create your own unique ‘foodie inspiration’. 
  • Write down your favourite winter comfort meals and save the recipe pages so they’re to hand when you want something simple. 
  • Batch cook* during early December to stock up your freezer with your favourite meals for when you don’t have the energy or time to cook over Christmas. 

*Batch cooking simply means making several portions of recipes in advance to freeze so you can defrost them for a future meal.


What to do with leftovers?

Feeling stuffed? Here are some alternatives to throwing good food away.

  • Create tasty grown-up party packs. Tell your guests to bring their containers to take home delicious food that's not been served or party food that's not been opened. 
  • Stack up the freezer. There are so many delicious recipes for freezer-friendly food. Check out some of them in our food guides and recipe ideas.
  • Turn today’s leftovers into tasty meals for tomorrow using the incredible recipe generator from Love Food Hate Waste. Simply type your leftover food in recipe search and select your recipe or select 'Christmas' in the filter box.

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