Cut your food waste with these food planning ideas
Planning your meals could save you money, the planet and improve your diet. It's not a celebrity fad nor is it for the super fit or super organised, it is very simple. Families who plan meals save on a number of fronts, and they are working wonders for the environment.
Initially, some people fear that planning meals may not be realistic and that the fluency of family life gets in the way, but start small. By mapping your weekday dinners, you can make huge strides in cutting your waste. As breakfast cereals have longer lifespans and lunches can be packed and light, dinners often prove the most wasteful meal. In a time when people throw away as much as £700 worth of food annually, cutting waste is more a necessity than a luxury.
Simple steps to save around the home.
- Plan first
Think of five meals that your family would enjoy during the week. If you're a tech whizz digitise your list, if not a notepad will suffice.
- Online answers
If you are unsure what to buy, check recipes online and multiply them according to your domestic needs. If you are shopping for children, remember to buy appropriately sized portions.
- Don't double down
How often have you and someone else in the home brought home milk or other perishables on the same day?
On your fridge keep a list of what you need, remove items you intend to buy. A whiteboard could be the most effective money saver in your home. If it helps take a photograph of your fridge, then you can refer back to it when shopping.
- Smart veg shopping
Be sure to check the use-by dates on food and buy diverse veg that can be adapted for other meals if you need to. At meal times serve side salads from a shared bowl ensuring people only take what they want.
Generally speaking, sharing bowls reduces food waste drastically. Leftovers are easily separated and can be used again for lunches the following day.
Stock take & be adventurous
On weekends be sure to check what's in the freezer and cupboards, plan with these foods in mind. Knowing what is about to go out of date can reduce waste. Again, if you're unsure what to make, take to the web and google your freezer contents for serving suggestions.
If you don't own Tupperware, then buy some! Great for taking leftovers and fresh meals to work. When you make too much food, it's also helpful to be able to freeze the excess until it's needed.
Use IT solutions
You could completely digitise your home, spending thousands to streamline the waste, alternatively just apply FIFO. First In First Out is a computing term that can be applied to the home, specifically your cupboards.
Organise your cupboards to make sure that new products are at the back. It avoids neglecting foods that go to the back of your cupboard only to emerge out of date and end up in a bin
Check back on the ReGen blog each week for tips on how to reduce waste, live greener and learn about environmental trends.