Christmas cocktails

Plan well to save fresh food this Christmas

Top tips and a festive recipe to save you money and reduce food waste over the summer holiday period.

15 December 2021

Whether you celebrate Christmas or simply enjoy taking time out over the holiday period, it can often get busy with all the preparations and activities going on which can result in a lot of food being thrown in the bin.

The festive season is a great opportunity to learn how to be more flexible with your food, including planning ahead to reduce food waste and using up those leftovers to make tasty scrumptious meals for the next few days. 

Check out festive food waste tips below.

  1. Look through your pantry and fridge before Christmas and - use up existing ingredients to make space for Christmas cooking. 
  2. Create a shopping list and buy only what you need for your event. The shops are shut for just one day so you can visit your favourite grocery stores again closer to your next party, which means you’ll always be serving guests the freshest produce.
  3. Plan dishes that use the same ingredients to avoid leftovers which saves space in your fridge and pantry.
  4. Before picking up a sale consider if you will use them up or have enough room to store them. A tray of mangos may sound nice but not if you are likely to throw half of them in the bin.
  5. Picking imperfect produce is good for your wallet and the environment. Plus, your guests will never know.
  6. Portion leftover ham and store in the fridge or freezer wrapped in plastic and then foil. Leave about 4-6 hours to thaw a frozen 500-gram cooked ham in the fridge.
  7. Turn your fridge 1-2 degrees lower when it's full to keep seafood fresher for longer.
  8. Let your guests serve themselves to suit their appetites. It will avoid plate waste and allow more room for dessert.
  9. Plan dishes to meet various dietary requirements without making additional dishes. Serving dressing, nuts and meats as a side where possible will allow guests to add to their plate if they wish.
  10. Encourage your guests to bring reusable containers with them or have spare containers on hand to fill any leftovers for people to take home.
  11. Pickle leftover raw ingredients such as carrot, onions and cucumber. Place in a jar, cover with a brine mixture, add some herbs and spices, seal with a lid and pop in your cupboard for a rainy day. See Kitchen Scrap Fermenting recipe by Cornersmith.
  12. Transform your leftover meat and veggies into curry or pie fillers for your next meal.

The holiday season is here and entertaining is on the agenda. Whether you are making festive mocktails or cocktails this summer, try out our latest LFHW partner Cornersmith's festive bitters recipe. 

Cornersmith Christmas Waste Hack Bitters


The pith and skin of 4 oranges, lemons, mandarins or 2 grapefruit
5 all spice berries
2 star anise
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon juniper berries
1 stalk lemongrass
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt


Place the citrus skins, spices sugar and salt to a pot and cover with 2 cups of water. Over a medium heat bring to a boil and then turn the heat down and allow to gently simmer covered for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the ingredients steep overnight.