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Set a Use Up Day

Choose a Use Up Day to make your food go further and save around £260* per year. Make the most of last week’s shopping by dedicating one day a week to ‘using up’ the food you've got left.

  1. How to pick your Use Up Day

    Follow these steps to give Use Up Day a go:

    1. Pick a day

    Your Use Up Day should ideally be just before your shopping day. To organise it, think about:

    - When you typically go for your main food shop?
    - What evening you're usually at home?
    - When everyone in your household is together?

    2. Make it official (and fun)

    Set a weekly reminder for your use-up day and get family, friends or housemates involved. This can be a reminder in your phone, on the calendar or family planner or even a note pinned to the fridge.

    3. Take stock in the kitchen

    See what you can find by:

    - Foraging in your fridge
    - Deep diving into your freezer
    - Raiding your cupboards

    If you’re enjoying treats from the freezer as part of your Use Up Day just remember to reheat cooked food until it’s piping hot. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read Love Your Freezer.

    4. Get inspiration from our recipe website

    Make a tasty meal using up your ingredients, why not try using our recipe finder tool to see what you can make?

    How to pick your Use Up Day
  2. What to do with food you’re unable to use up?

    If you ever find yourself with food items that you know you’re not going to use, why not offer them to your neighbours on the local community app, Olio?

    Olio, a partner of Tesco since 2020, is known for tackling food waste by linking neighbours and business to share surplus food that would otherwise go to waste. Half of all food added to the app is requested within 21 minutes of posting. It is also a great way to source a small amount of an ingredient to make your Use Up Day meal perfect!

    It’s simple to list and search items and means unused food items gets a second chance at being used.

    To learn more visit Olio.

    What to do with food you’re unable to use up?
  3. Other ways to make your shop go further and cut food waste

    For other ways to help you reduce food waste in your home, see our food waste page.

    On this page, you'll find top tips to reduce food waste, 5 easy family dinners for £25 which make the most of your big shop throughout the weekdays, ways to use up your leftovers and our best batch-cooking recipes that could save you time and money.

    *This is based on Hellmann’s findings that a weekly Use-Up Day in a Canadian Trial cut food waste by a third each week. The Hellmann’s study is here. Based on the WRAP report from 2015 and adjusted for inflation, this is the amount a family (based on 3.8 people in a household) can save. Actual saving, based on annual cost of wasted food being approx. £800 and a third of this being saved each week, is £266.

    Other ways to make your shop go further and cut food waste