Food waste is a major problem, world wide. PICTURE: Flickr

Households throw away more than £13 billion worth of food every year, according to latest figures.

That equates to about 7.3 million tonnes of food waste, says the waste and recycling body Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap).

Now the experts at Good Housekeeping Institute have shared their tips for how to make these foods last longer - which could save you money, as well as cut down on waste.

 

BANANAS

British households bin 1.4 million edible bananas every single year, according to Wrap.

But there are easy ways to prevent this colossal waste as even brown bananas can be put to good - and very tasty - use.

Good Housekeeping recommends you turn brown bananas into banana bread or cake.

Or even easier: when your fruit is starting to go brown, chop the bananas into segments and pop them in the freezer.

You can then use the frozen pieces to make ice cream, milkshakes or a smoothie.

MILK


With most of us keeping milk in the fridge door - the warmest part of the fridge - milk tends to go off quicker than we can use it.

But if you have a lot of milk left to use with only a few days left on the use by date, you can always freeze your cartons.

Alternatively, pour the milk into ice cube trays - the perfect dose for a cup of tea.

BACON

We throw away plenty of bacon every year, according to the figures.

But there's an easy way to make it last longer.

Frozen bacon will keep for two to three months - just make sure you freeze by layer in between sheets of greaseproof paper so it doesn't form a large frozen block.

FIZZY DRINKS AND SMOOTHIES


If you're not drinking all your fizzy pop, then there's an easy way to reuse it before it goes flat and has to be poured down a drain.

Good Housekeeping suggests pouring fizzy drinks into ice lolly moulds, allowing some room for expansion, and freezing for easy and refreshing lollies for when it's hot outside.

You could even add some soft sliced fruit to them for a healthy snack.

Juices and smoothies can also be frozen in this way too - or you can blend juice with soft fruit for a homemade smoothie.  

BREAD

We throw away an awful lot of bread every year - 24 million slices a day to be precise, according to Wrap.

If it's kept too chilled - at 5C or below in a fridge for example - it goes stale very quickly, and kept too warm, it can easily develop mould.

Luckily bread can be frozen and makes the perfect slice of toast. But you can make fresh bread last a little longer by buying a whole loaf instead of sliced.

Just make sure you slice the bread before freezing if you buy a whole loaf.

CAKES

It may seem bizarre to those with a sweet tooth, but one of the most common items we are wasting every year is cake.

Luckily, it freezes very well - but you should freeze in slices to make sure it tastes as good as when you made it when you go to defrost.