Planning: don't make a meal out of it!

Article Type
Save Money
Hate Waste
What To Do
Article Subcategory

Meal planning. It’s not something I really thought was for me. With a busy social life and being relatively confident in my cooking skills, it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind. But about a month ago I realised I could be eating better. So, I set myself a challenge. What would happen if I took our own Love Food Hate advice, if I committed to meal planning for four weeks?

The results? I have been eating better and more varied food, learnt (if perhaps not always mastered) a good number of new recipes. I’ve brought food waste down to practically zero and I’ve also saved on average £20 a week on my food shopping. I’ve saved time too, as I’m not constantly in and out of the shops. And, dare I say it, I’ve actually really enjoyed it!

Here are my top tips:

  1. Plan your meals to suit what you’re up to this week: Are you only going to be cooking three nights this week? Great, plan for them. How much time will you have to cook? Look for recipes that will suit that timeframe.
  2. Cook at least one meal a week that will provide you with enough for an extra meal. That way, you have a ready made meal for when you have less time. Freeze if you are not going to eat it within two days.
  3. Don’t forget lunches! Plan to use up your leftover ingredients for lunch. This is a big money saver, and it’s so much nicer to have a lovely home-made lunch to look forward to at work. Healthier too, usually!
  4. Buy only what you need for your meals, but make sure you remember to get some snacks in for the week too, to avoid impulse buys when you get cravings!