Meal planning and what to do about food waste

Meal planning and what to do about food waste HEADER

I’m a bit peed off with myself today. I’ve just done something that I hate to do, and I’m angry with myself for getting to the stage where I’ve had to do it. What is it that I’ve done that has irked me so? I’ve had to throw away food from the fridge because it hasn’t been used and it has gone off. 

I’m not normally so wasteful. Well, I never used to be. I have spoken a lot in the past about how I meal plan, I’ve even written a post about it. But these last few months have seen me slip off the meal planning wagon somewhat. 

Over the summer I found myself ‘popping’ to the supermarket several times a week, deciding on what to have for dinner as we walked around the aisles. I didn’t really consider what we might already have at home, nor did I have much consideration for my bank balance if I’m honest. Until I had a look at my bank statement a few weeks ago and kind of baulked at just how much money I had spent at Sainsbury’s recently. 

So at the start of this month, I assigned myself a strict budget, which I’m sticking to pretty easily. But the thing is, it’s all well and good keeping within a budget, but I could save so much more money – and waste less!- if I started meal planning again.

I used to ensure that there was minimal food waste by grouping meals by ingredients – if a recipe called for a specific ingredient then I would make sure that whatever I cooked the following day would also use that item. Or if I could bulk cook a meal and freeze portions for another day then even better. This is what I need to start doing again.

However, even when I was on the ball with my meal planning in the past I still ended up with a little bit of food waste here and there of the fruit and veg variety. 

I don’t have much of a problem getting my children to eat fruit (vegetables are a different matter though), but I still end up wasting more than I would like. I’ve been thinking about possibly buying one of these juicers by Panasonic in the New Year (because we ALL go on a health kick in January, don’t we!), which will be great for not only ensuring we all get some much-needed vitamins, but also for making sure that everything gets used up.

As for veg, I must start making more soups  – I used to make them for my lunch regularly but have got out of the habit recently. And if I have herbs left over then I just need to remember to freeze them before they start to turn. It’s simple stuff really, I just need to get back into the habit.

Do you have any tips for using up the last bits of fruit and veg, and preventing food waste? I’d love to know, so please do leave a comment! 

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post

Photo by Vince Lee on Unsplash

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