Tips To Minimise Food Waste At Home
2 November 2022

Did you know that in 2021, Singapore generated food waste equivalent to the amount of 56,000 double decker buses? Food waste comes in all forms – from unfinished perishables to unopened items with a longer shelf life that we throw away.

In fact, not only does high food waste add to our waste management problem, it also drains down on our food supply unnecessarily and affects our food security. So here are some tips to minimise food waste, starting from right where we are at home.

1. Shelf Life – Knowing the Difference Between Best-before & Expiry Dates

Most food packages come with two dates—the manufacture date and an expiry date or best-before date. Expiry dates indicate that once the date has passed, the product is no longer safe for consumption.

On the other hand, the best-before date is an indicative one on ideally when you should consume the food product by. Although the product would not be as fresh once it passes the best-before date, it is actually still safe for consumption especially if it has been unopened and well-stored—this is even more so for non-perishables with a longer shelf life. When do these products become non-consumable then? Judging by the taste and smell, you are likely to know. So, before you start throwing out every unopened food that has passed the best-before date, recognise the difference and cut down on food waste.

2. Take Inventory – First in, First out

On the topic of grocery shopping, taking an inventory of the edibles you have in your kitchen is a simple habit to practice before making a trip down to the supermarket. Practising this reduces the chances of double-purchasing goods you already have. 

Implementing a first-in, first-out layout in your pantry is an effective way to organise your food items as it tells you which items you should cook or eat before the rest. This means storing items that expire earlier at the front of your storage space, and recent food purchases or ones with a later expiry date at the back. With every grocery purchase, simply shift food items from the back to the front to make space for the newer purchases behind. Keeping track of your groceries has never been simpler!

3. Food Donation

Now that you have reorganised your pantry, do you find that you have excess, unexpired and unopened food products that you are unlikely to touch before they go out of date? Instead of throwing them away, you can send these unconsumed items to food donation organisations that redistribute them to people who can benefit from them.

Food from the Heart and Food Bank Singapore are some of them just to name a few. In fact, Marina One is partnering with Food from the Heart to run a food donation drive this Christmas season. To drop off your donations, visit our donation box set up at Marina One City Room East from 21st November to 23rd December. Examples of donatable items include canned food products, coffee, tea, malt drinks, and bread spreads.

Some things to note before dropping off your items include checking that they are at least three months prior to expiry and are in smaller quantities. This is so that they will not be kept past their expiration date or wasted in the event the beneficiaries are unable to finish the food too. For a recommend list of things to donate, visit:

In conclusion, food waste at home is something everyone can minimise, especially when you have a better understanding of shelf lives, food labels and their dates, and are able to take better stock of what you have. Avoid impulsively disposing off unopened food because someone can benefit when you donate them. In the spirit of giving, don’t miss your chance to help someone out this Christmas and let’s all do our part to reduce food waste!