Did you know that studies have shown that almost three quarters of the household food waste we throw away each year is food we actually could have eaten? That's 4.5 million tonnes of edible food is thrown away in the UK each year!
A great way to reduce food waste is by planning your meals, and as you will only be buying the ingredients you need, this will also help you save money. New to meal planning? Then read on for our top tips on how to get started with meal planning.
1. Take stock of what's in your fridge, freezer and cupboards
By keeping tabs on what's in your cupboards, fridge and freezer you can see what meals you can make or meals those ingredients could go towards. Make sure to keep an eye on expiry dates.
2. Make a shopping list and stick to it
Before you go to do a food shop decide on the meals you want to make for the week and make a list of what you need to buy. Having a list and sticking to it will stop you from being tempted to overspend on things you may not need and that will go to waste! By looking at what you have in before you do a food shop, it will also prevent you buying the same things again (and ending up with too much of the same thing!). Don't forget to take reusable bags when shopping!
3. Buy seasonal produce
We love shopping seasonally, not only is it a fab way to be more sustainable with your food, but they tend to taste better too! It is well documented that transporting out of season produce to the UK has a big environmental impact due to flying it from overseas. By shopping seasonally, it means that you will be buying the foods that are naturally ready to harvest at the same time you’re eating them. This means these foods will be fresher, cheaper and have a smaller carbon footprint - win win! Check out this seasonal calendar for some tips.
4. Batch Cooking
Staples like soups, stews, curries and casseroles can all be made in large batches and then frozen and defrosted when you need a quick dinner. Make sure to always freeze in the portion sizes you’ll want to defrost. We always try to double up when we're cooking, and then freeze half for an easy meal later. Our current family faves to batch cook with are Lentil Bolognese and Butternut Squash Risotto.
5. Use a weekly meal planner
Download our free Weekly Meal Planner Template to keep track of your plans and also jot down any things for your shopping list.