Meal planning and Cooking

“Plan Your Cooking” to avoid Food Waste

Plan Your Cooking” to avoid Food Waste

Planning what you’re going to cook can help you avoid food waste by just cooking the portion numbers and sizes you need, and using food you already have.

People who plan what they are going to cook tend to waste less food. The simple acts of cooking with what you have, thinking about portion sizes, measuring ingredients, and batch cooking can have a big impact on how much food we waste.

And by investing a little time in planning what you cook you can also:

  • Save money as you are focused on only preparing and serving what is needed
  • Save time in your busy schedule by cooking with what you have or batch cooking for future meals
  • Feel more organised and take one stress away as you cook what you need for meals you plan to eat

Here’s our top tips to “Plan Your Cooking” and avoid food waste:

  • Plan what meals you are going to cook by using food you already have in your fridge, freezer and cupboards.
  • Choose recipes that use some of the same ingredients in more than one meal – this will save you money and makes sure food gets used up.
  • Plan your meal portions and measure out your ingredients by count (e.g. number of potatoes), by volume (cups, spoons or ladles) or by weight.
  • If you don’t have measuring cups or weighing scales, find a handy way to measure food portions – choose a cup or bowl you have at home to portion up ingredients such as pasta, rice, potatoes or similar ingredients you use regularly. By using the same device to measure every time, you’ll get familiar with measuring portions.
  • Plan and cook meals with family, housemates or friends so you cook food you know everyone will want to eat.
  • Plan to batch cook and freeze some dinners for easy meals during the working week – this will save you time, stress and help you use up food you already have at home.
  • At mealtimes, serve food in bowls or platters and let everyone take the amount of food they want. This makes it easier to box up any leftovers for the fridge or freezer.
  • Eat or freeze yummy leftovers – leftover food is tastier the next day or can be popped in the freezer to be eaten another time.

Extra tips to avoid food waste while cooking for one:

  • Cook using frozen vegetables so you have single portions of great quality veggies without any going to waste.
  • Befriend the freezer. If you have freezer space, make the most of it by batch cooking meals and freezing ingredients. Buy large packs of meat, butter and other freezable items and take some time to portion and freeze food as you unpack the shopping.
  • Cook enough for two meals. If you don’t mind eating the same meal twice in a row, it can be a great time saver to cook two portions to enjoy at dinnertime tonight and at lunchtime tomorrow. To vary things up, check out these handy ‘Leftovers Recipes’.

Share your planning hacks!

We’d love to hear what kind of planner you are and how you’re taking steps to avoid food waste by planning ahead. Show us how you plan out your meals and share your top tips for avoiding food waste by using #PlanToStopFoodWaste on social media!

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