Shopping and storage

‘Know What Meals You’re Going to Eat’ to Avoid Food Waste

‘Know What Meals You’re Going to Eat’ to Avoid Food Waste

Knowing what meals you’re going to eat will help you save time, money and feel more organised.

By thinking ahead and planning a few meals or all meals during the working week, and being smarter when you shop, you can have a big impact on what you buy and how much food you waste. If you know what meals you’re going to eat you’re less likely to buy extra food you don’t need and more likely to use the food you already have.

Knowing What Meals You Want to Eat

  • Plan out your meals in a way that works for you – Do you know what kind of planner you are? Take a look at the planning profiles here to find out. Once you know what type of planner you are, have a think about what you want to eat over the working week , in the coming few days, or even just what you might want tomorrow – whatever suits your lifestyle!
  • Feel in control of what you’re going to eat during the week – planning some (or all) of your meals will take some of the stress away during the busy week.
  • Cut out the hassle of food shopping – by knowing what you need to buy or using up what you already have at home. This way you won’t waste money or time buying food you don’t need – win-win!
  • Make the most of fresh food – When you buy fresh food, try matching it to meals with similar ingredients. For example, including spinach in a curry for your evening meal, as well as in a salad for next day’s lunch. See more on meal matching.
  • Plan meals for everyone around the table- whether you live with your family or in a house share, try planning and sharing some meals together.   You are more likely to eat food you want and less likely to waste food by planning and eating meals together. So, try to plan some ‘firm favourites’ to get everyone around the table together and share any leftovers.


Shop Smarter…In-Store

  • Stick to your shopping plan – When visiting the shops, try to stick to buying the food you plan to eat. Try not to get sucked in to buying special offers on fresh food as only good value if eaten!
  • Don’t shop while you’re hungry – before heading out to the shop make sure you have something to eat, to avoid hunger driving your purchases.
  • Downsize that trolley – use a smaller sized troller or a basket to avoid overspending.
  • Check the date – and don’t forget to check the back of the shelves to find food that will be in-date for longer.


Shop Smarter…Online!

  • Add to your online order as you go – add to your order as you run out of food items.
  • Check previous orders – to see what you have used up and what you haven’t.
  • Book your slot ahead of time – to make sure you get one that fits with your schedule.

We have more information on the best ways to avoid food waste when shopping, here.


For the coming months, we’re challenging you to know what food you’re going to eat by you want to eat for two or more days during the week and by shopping smarter! Take a look at Sheila Kiely’s two-week meal plan to get you started and give you some ideas.

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