Our food blogger and chef, Katy Harris extols the virtues of bread as part of our Your Money Matters this week and offers a great recipe too.

Every year in the UK, we waste 4.4 million tons of food that ends up in the bin or landfill. Bread is the most wasted food product of all. We waste a staggering 900,000 tonnes of bread every single year. That equates to a whopping 24 MILLION slices every single day. Here I share my top tips to stop your household bread ending up in the bin.

  • Bread can be safely stored until it’s use by date at ambient temperature. However, in summer months, bread will go off really quickly if your kitchen gets too warm. During these times, keep your bread in the fridge, a cool dark cupboard or pantry to keep bread fresher for longer.
  • Many of us get lured into Supermarket reduced bread. Before you consider picking up your bargain bread, decide if you can use it or store it. Supermarket bread is only reduced on the last day it is fresh. So if you aren’t going to use it that day, consider popping it in the freezer in air-tight bags or containers. Do also remember that bread only lasts for around 4 to 6 weeks in the deep freeze before it goes past it’s best. Often the money you save on bargain bread, can actually be losing you money if it goes to waste.
  • Don’t throw your bread crusts away. Whizz them up in a blender until the bread is reduced to fine breadcrumbs. Pop them in an air tight container to freeze. You can also lightly toast the breadcrumbs in a dry frying pan until golden brown and store at ambient temperature in a Kilner jar. Breadcrumbs make a great topping for cauliflower cheese, macaroni cheese or pasta bakes.  
  • Fresh unsliced bread from Artisan bakers starts to go hard after 24 hours, making it useless for sandwiches. Bread like this makes amazing croutons. Cut the bread into slices, then into cubes. Place on a lined baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Scatter some mixed herbs, salt and pepper on top and bake in the oven on a low temperature until golden. Croutons are delicious sprinkled onto soups and salads.
  • Stale bread slices make delicious French toast. Crack 2 eggs and a splash of milk into a bowl and add a generous pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon. Whisk together. Coat the bread slices in the mixture and fry in a pan with melted butter until both slides are golden. Serve with a dusting of icing sugar and fresh fruit.


Easy Bread pudding

Bread pudding in a wonderful and easy way to use up stale or unwanted bread. Once made, cut into slices and freeze in air tight containers until you need them. They make a wonderful treat for picnics and lunchboxes.


  • 500g of white or wholemeal bread (or a mixture of both)
  • 600g of dried fruit (Use anything you have in the cupboards. Sultanas, mixed peel, cranberries, blueberries and apricots will all work)
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed spice
  • The zest of 1 large orange
  • 3 medium eggs (free range if possible)
  • 150g of light muscovado sugar
  • 100g melted butter
  • White sugar to decorate


In a large mixing bowl, break up the bread into small chunks. Add all the other dry ingredients and mix well. Add the wet ingredients (apart from the melted butter) and mix again. Set the mixture aside for 15 minutes so the bread absorbs all the ingredients. Pour the mixture into a greased and lined square/rectangle cake tin. Brush the top with the melted butter and a small scattering of white sugar. Bake at 160c for 1 to 1.5 hours. You will know it’s ready when the top is golden brown and spongy to touch. Cut into small slices and enjoy!