Meal planning

Since I started meal planning at the beginning of the year I have found that I waste much less food than I did last year. I've always been terrible for buying too much each week and before I was introduced to meal planning I would fill my online trolley with anything that took my fancy. Come the end of the week, food would go out of date and end up in the bin! These days I have managed to cut that down slightly however I often still find myself wasting a lot of food some weeks. 

AO.com recently challenged me to use all of the food I buy in one week without throwing it away. Food waste is a huge problem in the UK - in fact it is estimated that we throw away on average 7 million tonnes of food every year which costs a whooping £12.5 billion. Sounds a lot huh? We were given £40 towards our weekly shop and I bought the same items as I usually would for meals through out the week but made sure I didn't overspend on stuff that we wouldn't use/didn't actually need.

Here is our weekly shop

Chicken breasts 3 for £10
Whole Chicken 3 for £10
Beef Strips 3 for £10
Potatoes £1.98
Fresh Brocoli Florets £1.25
Onion 16p
Beansprouts 60p
Stir Fry sauce £1
Rice noodles £1
Fresh Milk £1.00
Bananas 58p
Pear 38p
Carrots 16p
Sweet potato 44p
Maggis Chicken Chasseur Packet £1
Tuna £1
Pizza Express Pizza £2.25
Kids pizzas x2 £1.00
Brown bread 79p
Large white baps 65p
Milkyway Magic Stars x 3 £3.00
Helter Skelter Ice Lollies x2 £2.00
Mini Milk Ice Lollies £2.00
Dr Pepper 6 Pack £2.00
Squash £1
Kitchen roll £1.25
Pampers Size 3 £4.00
Aptamil Milk £10

Total = £51.59

Here are the meals we ate

Monday - Diet Coke Chicken and rice with broccoli
Tuesday - Chicken Chasseur with roast potatoes and veg
Wednesday - Pizza
Thursday - Jacket Potato with Tuna
Friday - Beef Stir Fry
Saturday - Takeaway
Sunday - Roast Chicken

Come the end of the week we didn't waste any food and I even managed to make a soup out of the left over chicken for lunches.

Here are some of my tips on how to waste less food!

1. The easiest way to waste less food is to sit down and write out a meal plan for the week. Decide on what meals you are going to eat, this doesn't have to be set each day, I like to decide what to eat that day but if you have a set number of meals written out you'll know then what items you need to buy and won't be overbuying.

2. If you like to shop in store take the money with you to the shops and don't take your card then you only have that money to spend. For example if you're budget is £50 for the week and you want to stick to it, take £50 in your purse and leave your card at home. Take a calculator so you can add up along the way or most supermarkets have those handy handheld devices which add up as you shop. 

3. Towards the end of the week if you have lots of vegetables left over in the fridge cook up a soup or if you have a young baby make some pureed vegetables to freeze. This is a great way of using up the left overs and bulk freezing for days where you don't fancy cooking or don't have much left in to eat.

Do you have any tips to add on how to waste less food? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

* In collaboration with AO.com

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  1. Great tips. We really need to start budgeting.

    1. Thanks Bethan. I was really bad for it but decided to stick at it and it really does help. xx

  2. I've just started meal planning and I was shocked at how much I actually saved when I buy just what we need. Great meals on your meal plan too, I'm always looking for ideas on what to cook x


    1. It's ridiculous how much we waste isn't it! I love to spend my money just as much as the next person but recently i've learnt to budget better and meal plan. Thank you, glad you like them. I'm always the same - I love reading other's meal plans x


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