Shopping and storage

Staff Tips - Meal Planning & Preparation

Staff Tips – Meal Planning & Preparation

Planning meals is one of the most effective ways to reduce food waste and save on food bills. There are many ways to plan your meals and you’ll be pleased to learn that there’s no one way of doing it, it’s whatever works for you!

At the office of Stop Food Waste HQ, we asked around to find out what kind of approaches members of the team take.

When preparing the dinner, if I can, I will portion out an amount for my lunch the next day. So it goes straight from the pot to the lunch box!

I tend to plan what I will cook for most of the week (at least 4- 5 meals) before going shopping on Friday or Saturday. I then cook or prepare all the meals for the week during the weekend and then I choose the meal for that day in the morning.

I plan and shop day to day, or for 2 days at most – I’ve turned into a complete non-planner, but then I’m very close to shops.

As I am the sole shopper in my house, I know exactly what’s in the fridge/cupboards. I do one big shop for the week and as I cook a lot of the same meals each week I always know what’s needed.Colman:
I always check the use by date before putting short shelf life produce in the shopping basket.

I always take a minute to take a look in the cupboard and the fridge before I leave for the shop. Otherwise, I end up with five tins of chickpeas but no tomatoes!

My wife does the majority of the shopping and she usually does one main shop at the start of the week for the essentials and school lunches (with a shopping list) and then supplements that with smaller shops for things like bread (before I started baking it!), meat, fish, etc.


I love the sense of satisfaction from rustling up a meal out of nothing when my partner says we’ve nothing in the house. I keep a good stock of store cupboard items such as tinned tomatoes, pulses, dried mushrooms, herbs and spices that are handy to liven up a makey uppy dish.