When we waste food, we waste money. Taking time to plan before you shop can save you time, money and stress.
Making a plan can be simple but sticking to it can be tough. Here’s our tips to stay on top:
Make a Meal Plan.
- Know what you have – make it a habit to check your cupboards, fridge and freezer so you know what you have, what ‘use by’ dates are coming up, and what you need to restock.
- Plot out your recipes – think about what you want to eat in the coming days – or week, or month! – using meals that include ingredients you already have.
- Meal Match – by including recipes with similar ingredients you can plan to use up fresh produce, e.g. including spinach in a curry for dinner tonight and using the rest up in a salad for tomorrow’s lunch. Find out how to Meal Match.
Keep a Shopping List.
- Take stock (or a ‘shelfie’) of what you have – adding to a shopping list as you run out of products is a great way to keep track of what you need, but if you’re short of time before hitting the shops, take a photo of your shelves so you’ll know what you don’t need.
- Think food groups – group items together on your list as you’ll find them in the shop, e.g. fresh fruit and veg, dairy, etc.
- Keep a running tally – take note of what runs out day-to-day using a kitchen notepad or chalkboard, or a note in your phone!
Top Tip: Make Shopping Lists work for you!
- Know what you’ll use and what you’re likely to waste – we shop with good intentions and our trollies might reflect the lifestyle we want rather than the one our habits and schedule allow for. We can always create new habits but it’s important to be realistic about what we’ll use and what will go to waste.
- Understand the Shopping Battleground – supermarkets are designed to make us buy products we may not need. Shop layouts, multi-buy deals and convenience shopping can create traps to make us over-buy, and inevitably waste, food.
Top Tip: Don’t think you waste much food? Why not measure it for a week to find out!
Whether you dip into your corner shop for daily supplies, get the lot in one weekly shop, or choose to shop online, these good planning and shopping habits can help you avoid food waste.