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HOW TO PLAN MEALS AND AVOID FOOD WASTE

 

 

By Damian Adams, East Region Head Chef

Damian Adams, Head Chef at Newmarket and Huntingdon, has some great tips on how to plan meals, save money on the weekly shop AND cut down on food waste

 

These are unprecedented times but there is one thing that will always be certain - we all need to eat!

 

So, as we continue life in lockdown it’s important we start to get better at planning meals. This won’t just help save money, it’ll cut down on food waste, too.

 

The key is not to buy more than you can consume. It sounds simple but, if we’re honest, it’s harder to put into practice than it is to say.

 

There are some simple things we can do to control our food waste at home. For instance, just about any vegetable can be turned into soup, portioned up and then stashed away in your freezer for when you want it.

 

When we’re flat out working it’s easy to see making meals as a bit of a chore. So, whether you’ve got more time on your hands or just using the part of the day you’d usually spend commuting, try to put a bit more love and time into your food. I promise you’ll reap the benefits.

So here’s my 5 point plan to get the most out of your cupboards, fridges and freezers:

 

  • Check the weather in advance. Our meals, especially dinners, are often dictated by whether it’s warm or cold outside and that’s no different just because we’re staying at home.

 

  • Plan your meals out for the whole week. Make a list of what you and the family will have for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. Just don’t forget to add in a few treats!

 

  • Write your shopping list from your meal plan. If you buy the ingredients accordingly you should be reducing or even (ideally) eradicating food waste.

 

  • Stay focused when shopping. We all know that it’s easy to get tempted – especially on an empty stomach – but make sure you stick to your list!

 

  • Remember that the internet is a great place to find food inspiration based on ingredients you’ve already got at home. And, even if you find a recipe you like but realise you don’t have all the items on the list, you can easily double up on another item you do have or add a similar vegetable like extra onions, potatoes, leeks or celery.

If you stick to this five point plan then you’ll definitely be cutting down on food waste AND your bill at the checkout too.

 

In the current climate it’s also important, if you’re able, to give charities as much as you can. They really do need our help more than ever.

 

Enjoy your meals next week and keep safe and healthy.

 

Damian

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