Chef and mum reveals her top tips on having a zero waste kitchen to save money

By Oyetola Isola, Chef & Co-Founder of Oyetty Meals

Submerge your fruits and veg for longer shelf life

If you buy fresh fruit and veg, some of these items can be kept fresher for longer by submerging them in water. This works brilliantly for avocados, lemons, limes, peaches, pears, mangos, strawberries and raspberries.

Simply rinse and wash your fruits, fill an airtight jar with water and store your fruits and veg in the jar of water, in the fridge. This can keep fruit fresh for weeks past their shelf life, meaning your money goes further by reducing waste.

Make a fridge soup (it tastes better than it sounds)

If you’re one of those people that always has a few leftover vegetables in the fridge before you do your weekly shop, consider a fridge soup. Despite it’s not-very-appealing name, fridge soup just involves roasting leftover veggies in the oven, blitzing them with a blender and then adding to a saucepan with veg stock and cream. This makes for delicious homemade vegetable soup that spares any waste, as it can be used with all and any vegetables – even potatoes. If you don’t have cream you can always add in a few handfuls of pasta, to make minestrone soup.

Save leftovers for homemade stock

If you don’t know this trick already, you can make your own homemade stock with leftover meat carcases or vegetables. Simply boil the leftover carcass or vegetables in 1-2 liters of water, then add some salt, pepper, celery, carrots and onions, and let it simmer away for 2-3 hours. Sieve into a liquid container, let it cool and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. This can be used in soups, strews, curries and any other dish that requires stock.

Use a food waste bin

If you do tend to throw food away, it’s definitely worth getting a food caddy for communal or personal composting. Your local council will usually offer a food waste bin and provide collections, which go to a mass composting site. Or if you have your own compost heap in the garden, you can add your old veg, coffee grounds, or egg shells to this.

Invest in airtight jars and food storage

If you usually leave your cereals, pastas, pulses, and other boxed items in their packaging, consider investing in airtight food storage to eliminate waste. You can usually pick these up from homeware shops, which will cost a few pounds at most. This will not only keep your food fresher for longer, but it can also make your storage space more efficient by eliminating bulky packaging.


You can learn more about Oyetola Isola on

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