Bin it Britain: Nation loses £9.7 billion per year throwoing away unused food

The average UK household estimates they throw away £6.84 of unused food each week, equating to £355.68 worth of food every year and a staggering £9.7billion across the country, according to new research.

The study by leading savings site VoucherCodes.co.uk reveals that a third of Brits (33%) do a ‘big’ shop once a week – costing £53.01 per household on average – and 56% also top up with fresh food between shops, spending a further £14.92 over the course of the week. But these additional trips may not always be necessary, with 65% admitting they buy food which ends up being thrown away. A staggering 80% of 18-34 year olds admitted to throwing away food each week, however nearly half of over (47%) 55s proudly state they never throw food out. 

London and Newcastle are the waste capitals of the UK; Londoners admit to throwing away £10.09 of food on average per week, more than anywhere else in the country, while people from Newcastle are the most likely to throw food out (71%). 

When it comes to leftovers, more than half of Brits (51%) save any extras to eat another time and one in five (21%) say they plan their main meals for the next week to help them budget and avoid having too much extra food going to waste.

In the age of #mealprep it’s perhaps no suprprise that the Instagram demographic are leading the way when it comes to planning out their weekly menu; despite being the worst offenders when it comes to food waste, millennials prove to be the most organised when it comes to meal-planning. Just under a third of millenials (29%) say they think out almost all of their main meals for the next week ahead of shopping, compared to just 16% of those aged 55+.  
 
The study of 2,000 UK adults also shows that one in seven shoppers (14%) are happy to pay a premium for certain brands, with tea, coffee, and chocolate topping the list. Cleaning products, kitchen roll, and dry or tinned goods are the products that shoppers are most likely to buy from a supermarket’s own value range.

Anita Naik, Lifestyle Editor of VoucherCodes.co.uk, said: “As a nation, we clearly enjoy life’s little luxuries, but the cost of paying a premium on everything from coffee to confectionary can soon add up – especially if you’re one of the 65% who end up chucking out uneaten food.

“By making a few small tweaks to the way you approach your weekly shop, you could really make your money stretch further. We've pulled together some top supermarket saving tips on our blog to help you save more cash and waste less food. It’s also always worth checking voucher code apps and websites which often have a range of discounts on online grocery orders – every little saving will add up!”