Step Three: Plan some meals… but not all of them
I’ve learned that planning exactly what the family is going to eat and when on a weekly basis is a very good way of cutting back on food waste. By knowing exactly what ingredients I am going to use I can avoid buying in more than I need.
But I’ve also learned that planning too far ahead can also be a problem.
Firstly, if you order your shopping online like I do, you’ll know only too well that you have no control over the sell-by dates on the food you’re given. While most supermarkets do a good job of making sure you get produce that has a later sell-by date, what I found was that come the middle of the week I’d end up with three things that needed eating by the next day, and some were not always freezable.
Secondly, between myself, my husband and two kids, there’s an awful lot of coming and going in the evening in our house. We probably eat together as a family two or three times a week but for the rest of the time there’s football training and swim squad and business dinners and so on. One week is never exactly the same as the next which means planning meals is not always practical.
And lastly, I don’t know about you but my experience of planning all our meals is that come the day I’ve planned to make cod or shepherd’s pie, I personally sometimes don’t fancy it. I know, fickle.
Tip: What I’ve learned works for me is to plan maybe three or four meals and buy my groceries online for those and then top up for the remaining meals at the supermarket. This has resulted in probably the biggest reduction in food waste in our house.