Reducing Food Waste

food waste

As the Christmas return to work (for some) is in full swing I’m just looking back on the festive season with a rather smug feeling.  What about I can imagine you (dear reader) wondering?

Well for the first time in many years the amount of wasted food scraped into the bin or worse just thrown away without even being nibbled has been negligible.  I put this success down to a few factors which I’ll list below.

We got a right-sized 9lb organic turkey sourced from a local Raglan based farm which was well big enough for the five of us on Christmas dinner and allowed for considerable top ups in the evening when our Alex and Emily arrived.  With two dogs liking a fresh bit of meat to go with their kibbles and me stripping the carcass for a Boxing Day curry there was nothing thrown away and I even kept to the family tradition of eating the giblets on Christmas Eve all on my lonesome.

“What about your avowed vegetarianism Mr Shores?” – I can hear your accusing voices ringing in my ears!  Well my original post was all about “eating fewer animals” and largely I’ve stuck to that but the Christmas turkey was always going to be an exception and so it proved.

Now there were a couple of additional aberrations during this period like the smoked bacon on the bird, the baked ham that Debbie bought that I admit to having a couple of slices of, plus the Caesar salad dressing which contains anchovies I believe, but on the whole I was pretty good!

Anyway relaxing my diet a little helped avoid waste on animal products that otherwise would have been wasted so that’s my thinking on that score.  However, on it’s own that doesn’t translate to the outcome we achieved as a family so there are other factors in play here.

Firstly, Josh is a human equivalent of an industrial incinerator which helped offset James reduced appetite due to his recent man flu.

Second, I have really restricted the amount of supermarket shops by car before Christmas (1 trip to Aldi, 1 to Asda and a final top up in Waitrose) and those after up to New Year by foot across the road to Waitrose.  By restricting purchases to what I can carry back in two arms that helped enormously on impulse buys that would have festered in the fridge before being chucked!

By reducing the amount of spend this way it encouraged us to eat what was already there rather than start afresh and as a result our freezer has been somewhat depleted with nearly all the chocolates, sweets and biscuits purchased actually eaten!

Now there have been some casualties on the way, sadly a stalk of sprouts and an additional bag of that fantastic vegetable languish in the garage never having made it into the pot, similarly a bag of carrots, but that ain’t bad at all when I look back on previous years food waste.

Yes, all in all a pretty successful outcome methinks and yes before you ask, I’m back to eating no more animal flesh!

Reducing Food Waste

Charity Begins At Abergavenny 

Surely you mean “charity begins at home” I can hear you think?  Maybe, but given Abergavenny is now “home” it’s perhaps not surprising that the town hosts a plethora of charity shops for locals and visitors alike to mooch in!

At the last count there are ten charity shops in town nine of which are pictured below.  The odd man out is the Salvation Army store towards the back of town and despite my Fitbit encouragement I declined to walk any further yesterday in pursuit of my latest blog.  Before you ask yes I managed over 10,000 steps…

Cats Protection

This is where we do most of our donations on the basis we don’t go in that often, although I bought some excellent Dire Straits & ABBA vinyl there recently!

ty hafon

Mostly clothes so I’m not sure we’ve ever bought anything from this particular shop but the Merthyr branch yielded a full set of Inspector Morse paperbacks…


Excellent for books especially the kind Emma buys but I managed to get some sheet music for “I’ve Got Sixpence” one of my late father’s favourite songs 🙂

Blue Cross

Probably our most visited shop as our son James works there and they welcome Molly & Hamish even if they are slightly damp from the Usk…  Great source for CD’s and clothes like my outside walking trousers!

Cancer Research UK

I think we bought a board game from here and some Christmas cards

Marie Curie

Our kitchen bookcase has a lot of cookbooks sourced from this particular shop!

Wales Air Ambulance

A great cause which must be so expensive to keep flying I helped via an ABBA picture disc single displayed in the window when passing…

Sue Ryder

Next to the Post Office and seems full of clothes and recycled furniture.  Some old friends of ours in Feltham visited on holiday and bought some garden gnomes I believe 🙂

St David’s Hospice Care

Interesting shop situated past the Borough Theatre on the left & the King’s Arms.  Mostly bric-a-brac  but a source of some great Dan Brown novels for me!

Apologies to any charities inadvertently missed out but as you can see a great collection of shops to look out for those essential replacements for your memory cupboards…

UPDATE:  Just bought for £3 a Wilson “Roger Federer” titanium tennis racket in excellent condition from Sue Ryder!  Normal price new £23…

Charity Begins At Abergavenny