A fifth of UK households say they are throwing away less food as the credit crunch tightens budgets, according to a survey.
The cost of food is leading 62% of shoppers to worry about the food they waste at home, the poll for Sainsbury’s found.
Economic concerns appear to be encouraging households to rely more on meals prepared at home and leftovers.
The poll also found 45% of consumers have started cooking from scratch, and between a quarter and a third regularly use leftovers for subsequent meals.
Previous sales figures from Sainsbury’s have shown an increase in the use of Tupperware, with plastic sandwich box sales up by 35% and plastic sandwich bags up by 25% compared to last year.
However the research revealed widespread confusion between best before and use by dates, which can contribute to food waste, the retailer said.
Almost a quarter of Britons throw food away once it is past its best before date, even though it may be perfectly edible.
The supermarket chain is running a campaign to help consumers use leftovers in a bid to reduce Britain’s food waste.
Julia Falcon, from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap) Love Food Hate Waste campaign, said: ‘We’ve worked closely with Sainsbury’s to look at the best ways to help people use all the food they buy, and now that budgets are getting tighter it pays to love your leftovers.’
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