It is very easy to buy too much food at Christmas and often there are huge amounts of leftovers to deal with. As a general guide, it is recommended that you’ll need 250g potatoes, 85g sprouts, 100g veg, 100g stuffing, 2-3 pigs in blankets and 125ml gravy per person as a rule. It’s also an idea to work out what size turkey (or other meat) you’ll need for the amount of guests you have. Statistics say that 4.2 million dinners are wasted every Christmas because of there being too much food, this amounts to over 263,000 turkeys just going in the bin!

If you end up with a plate of food you can’t possibly get through, here are a few ways that you can cut down on the waste.

The turkey
Carve any leftover meat straight away and leave it to cool at room temperature, meat can be frozen or stored in the fridge in an airtight container – if you end up with any left on plates, you can add this to your container and freeze or refrigerate this too.
Turkey makes a great addition to sandwiches and curries after the big day and if you have any dogs or cats, they might appreciate a bite too!

Potatoes
Did you know you can freeze roast potatoes? Well, you can! The recommended method is to open freeze them and then transfer them to a freezer bag. If you don’t use up all the potatoes, make sure to store them in a cool dry place. You can then use them up as an accompaniment to whatever you fancy for dinner into the New Year!

Veg
Root veg, including carrots and parsnips can be kept in the fridge for up to five days after being cooked or you can freeze them so they last longer. Why not add them to stews, make burgers out of them, blitz them into a sauce for pastas or as a soup or make bubble and squeak out of all your left over veg? Sprouts can be kept in the fridge too if you have any of those left over.

Stuffing
If you make your own stuffing, it can be frozen and then used at a later date for future roast dinners or as a way of thickening burgers or meatballs. If you use shop bought stuffing, this can be kept in the fridge for a few days.

Gravy
You can freeze this too! Especially if you choose to make your own. You can freeze it in portions or in ice cube trays and then use it instead of stock cubes.

Pigs in blankets
These can be kept for a few days and reused at a later date too. Cool any leftovers straight away and wrap them up before chilling them. You can safely keep them in the fridge for up to three days or a little longer if you freeze them, enjoy them as a snack in the days after Christmas or why not add them to pastas or cover them in pastry for your own take on a sausage roll?

So whatever you like to have for your Christmas dinner – make sure that it is as waste free as possible! Can you think of any recipes that uses any leftovers? You can let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

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