Plan to eat leftovers once a week

Last updated: 27 May 2022
Illustration of hands making a pizza using leftovers.

Small acts are all it takes to make a big impact

Just by making a meal that uses up any leftovers once a week, you’ll be saving money and reducing the amount of food that’s going to waste. This helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the use of valuable resources.

It’s a small act with a big impact on Victoria’s sustainable future.

Why it matters

Food waste in Victoria

  • Each year, Victorian households throw away 250,000 tonnes of edible food – enough to fill Melbourne’s Eureka Tower.
  • The average household in Victoria throws away $2,136 a year in wasted food.
  • Almost two thirds of the food Victorian households throw away could have been eaten.

(Sustainability Victoria, Path to Half Report, 2020)

The environmental impact

Food thrown into your rubbish bin ends up in landfill. Food in landfill breaks down in a way that can create greenhouse gases, including methane, which affects air quality and public health. When we waste food, we also waste the resources used to grow our food (water, soils and energy) and all the energy used to process, package and transport food from markets to our homes.

Tips and tricks

Give your leftovers a makeover

There are many delicious ways to use up leftovers – make stale bread the unlikely star of a salad or blend overripe fruit into a smoothie. Find great recipes online or do a quick search on ingredients for inspiration.

Make the most of your leftovers

From storing food correctly and cooking wisely, to sharing leftovers with others, there are many ways your family or household can make the most of your leftovers.

Plan ahead

When planning weekday dinners, try to choose recipes with similar ingredients so they can be used in other meals. Need half a tub of cream on Monday? Plan a dish that needs the other half for another day that week.

Find a small act that works for you

There are many other easy ways to reduce waste and recycle more. Find a small act that works for you and be part of Victoria’s sustainable future.