A food waste charity is advising people to "sniff, squeeze and sample" their produce before throwing it away to save money on their weekly food shop.

Still Good Food is a charity based in Bury St Edmunds with a store and new community fridge in Great Barton.

Project coordinator Sarah Bullen said that while the environmental project's primary aim is reducing food waste, she has seen more and more people who are turning to them to save money on their food shopping.

She added: "There's no referral system because we're not a food bank. We're just doing our bit for the environment and if that helps people out in tricky times, that's a bonus."

Occasionally, as well as offering food, the charity receive donations of sanitary or cleaning products from supermarkets and were recently donated clothing by Aldi.

In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, Sarah offered her top tips to make the weekly shop stretch further.

Firstly, she encouraged people to cook from scratch and think carefully when planning their meals, adding: "a well-planned shopping list can cut your bill significantly, so avoid impulse buys and don't click the 'buy again' button unless you've checked what's already in your cupboards".

She also emphasised the importance of storing food well by doing a mini stock rotation of your kitchen cupboards to bring older products to the front and researching the best ways to make food last.

Sarah added: "Best before dates are about quality, not safety. Use-by dates should be adhered to, but with best before dates remember to sniff, squeeze and sample food before throwing it out."

As part of their Farm Rescue project, Still Good Food connected with an orchard owner last year who couldn't sell his apples to supermarkets because of their yellow skins, despite the flavour being just as good as supermarket-grade fruit.

Charity volunteers collected the apples which otherwise would have stayed on the trees and distributed them to a wide range of places, including a Bury St Edmunds drop-in for the homeless and their shop in Great Barton.

They also collected onions that were affected by the heatwave but still good to eat from a farmer in Hockwold earlier in the month.

Still Good Food's Great Barton shops are open to all members of the public and opening hours can be found on their website.

Sarah's top tips to avoid food waste:

  1. Cook from scratch wherever possible
  2. Plan your meals for the week carefully
  3. Avoid impulse buys when shopping
  4. Check what you've already got in your cupboards
  5. When storing food, bring older items to the front
  6. Research the best ways to store food to make it last
  7. Remember best before dates are about quality, not safety
  8. 'Sniff, squeeze and sample' food before throwing it away