Bread. Used for breakfast, lunch, a snack or dinner. Bought with such intention, and forgotten so easily. How many times have you bought a loaf of bread when you fancy a sandwich for lunch or toast for breakfast, only to eat a few slices, maybe half the loaf, before forgetting you ever bought it and let it become stale and mouldy in the back of the fridge or cupboard? Hands up, I’ve done it loads of times. I’ve even tried getting those smaller loaves you can buy with occasional success of consuming the whole bag.

“The average person in the UK throws out more than half of a loaf of bread every month!”

Love Food Hate Waste

Love Food Hate Waste’s campaign, Make Toast Not Waste, aims to tackle this exact problem, as I am not the only person who’s done this. A crazy 20 million slices of bread are thrown out everyday in the UK alone! When I saw this statistic I not only felt a wave of guilt for having been a part of such a large statistic (for just bread!), but I also felt the need to find ways to use bread so as not to let it go to waste. Cause let’s face it, bread is awesome.

Why is food waste a problem? If the staggering number above isn’t enough to convince you to reduce your food waste, think about how many other resources are wasted when we throw away food unnecessarily. Water, energy, fuel for transport, packaging, advertising, even animal welfare sometimes. It all goes in to the food we eat, and if it’s being thrown away because of some bruises or because we just forget to check the fridge before heading to the shop, is it really worth it?

It’s crazy to think that whilst we are throwing away food everyday because it doesn’t meet supermarket standards, it’s passed the best before date even though it’s still perfectly fine to eat, or we just don’t want it, millions of people around the world go hungry everyday. It’s a funny world we live in.

Now whilst I could talk all day about food waste in general, here’s a few ways you can reduce your bread wastage:

  1. Firstly the obvious; buy smaller loaves. Most supermarkets here in the UK sell ‘half loaves’ that are smaller than regular loaves for those of us who don’t need much. They’re generally about the same price so not particularly cost effective, however your waste is lessened.

  2. Make your own bread! Filling the house with the beautiful smell of freshly baked bread is a surefire way to improve any day and entice you to eat the whole loaf!

  3. The classic sandwich. Choose your filling(s), toasted or fresh, cut or whole, enjoy! Fill your sandwich with delicious salads, spreads, proteins, whatever you like! There is a sandwich for your every need.

  4. Enjoy toast for breakfast. This is my favourite way to use all my bread. I spread delicious nut butters on, add some blueberries, raspberries and strawberries (any berries I have really!) and a drizzle of honey… delicious! I’ll be honest, I eat something similar to this quite regularly because it never gets old… and it’s so good! Toast is also super quick to make and you can eat on the go if you’re in a hurry. And who can say no to a nice slice of Vegemite toast?

  5. Make breadcrumbs. You know those bits of bread on the end of the loaf that most people don’t want to eat? I call them the butt end… Well they’re perfect for making breadcrumbs to sprinkle on your pasta bakes for that delicious crusty top. Depending on the stale scale you may need to toast the bread first, but once that’s done just tear into smaller pieces and bung it in the blender. Job done! I like to add some herbs to mine and pop it in the oven for about 10 minutes too, for a little extra flavour. You can also do this to old baguettes, rolls or the rest of the loaf if you haven’t managed to finish it. Breadcrumbs aren’t reserved for the bread ends only.

  6. Try different types of bread. I realised that I don’t tend to eat a whole loaf, but I do like breakfast muffins. So I’ve instead been buying those and alternating combinations to keep things interesting. You can basically use anything that you’d normally have on toast on these bad boys. You could also try wraps instead if you find bread too heavy or daunting a commitment. Different flavoured breads also spice things up a bit. Loaves with anything from olives, sun-dried tomatoes, sultanas, nuts, jalapenos, cheese, cranberries and even chocolate chips! 

  7. Use your freezer! As someone living in a shared house I often buy food that only I am going to eat. This is great cause I can be kinda greedy with my food, but sometimes I can start to see the quick decay of my delicious food and it makes me sad. So I’ve rustled up a good old trick from mum, which is to chuck it in the freezer. Mum always buys lots of bread and freezes it – there were a lot of us kids in the house so kudos to mum for stocking up. I usually keep the bread out whilst I want it fresh, then after a couple of days the rest goes in the freezer to keep for a week or so until I finish it. Pop it in the toaster when you’re ready for toast or to defrost for fresh bread. Psst – this freezing business also works well for fresh spinach and wraps! I never use all my spinach in one go and I hate seeing it go to waste. Considering I use it mostly when cooking sauces and curries, and not in salad, it works a treat. Think spinach crisps… they cook nice and quickly in your dinner and are best towards the end of the cooking process. For your wraps, just pop them in the microwave or oven to heat up and they’re good to go.

So go explore your bread horizons! There are so many different things you can do with bread. It’s been demonised for some time, but as part of a balanced diet it, as with anything, is good for you.

Comment below to share your bread saving tips