Simplifying Meal Planning

As part of our Simplify September theme I’m going to run a series of Quick Tips on some of the ways we are moving towards a more frugal and low waste life… I’m going to start with one of my favourite subjects – Food!

We have a one week e-course on this topic where you will get all the printables and two videos you need –  explaining how to meal plan and source your food. So, this is just a very basic and quick guide to what on earth everyone is talking about when they are on about meal planning. It’s like an idiots guide, but you’re not an idiot…

Meal Planning is a great way of being more conscious of what you spend on food. It can help to save money and also reduce food waste. I started simple and got more complicated as I got a feel for what worked for our family – you will probably need to try a few different ways to plan your shopping to find one that works for you.  Meal Preparation is slightly different, this is making your meals in advance for the week, so batch cooking and putting everything into individual or family portions and keeping it.

Meal Planning Quick Tips:

  1. Do an audit of your cupboards and fridge/freezer. Pull out foods you will never use, or are too out of date to be safe and either bin, compost, donate or add to the Olio App.
  2. With what you have left, see if you can make a meal or two.
  3. With the ‘odds and ends’ think of a meal they could make with the least number of additional ingredients. Add those few extra items to your shopping list.
  4. Consider what you normally buy that you could go without just this once…
  5. Remember to factor in the activities planned for the week, when do you need a quick meal? when do you have less/more people to feed? what are the items you often forget?

 

As you get more efficient at only buying what you need, your stocks and stores will naturally reduce. If your currently lifestyle relies on always having a few tins of soup or freezer surprise for emergencies make sure  you replace the minimum of these items so you don’t feel panicky about not having food in the house. Many of us hoard or over stock reserves of food as we have been raised by people for whom food shortages were a real issue or for extreme weather conditions etc. Try to introduce more conscious food shopping based on your actual needs and experiences, rather than on emotional or historical feelings towards food.

We are supposed to eat a rainbow everyday, and I have enjoyed meal planning to get us out of some food ‘ruts’ we had unconsciously created. Introduce a few new foods on occasion to keep things fun and challenge your taste buds x

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