15 Mar 2020

Meal Planning 101 // Recipes, Reducing Food Waste + Money Saving Tips



You may have noticed there has been quite a few food-related posts going up on my blog and Instagram lately, and judging by the amount of messages I get every time I post something I knew it is a topic that you'd like to see more of.


Today's blog post is about how I meal plan for the week, tips on how to save money doing so, a few recipe book recommendations, food bloggers and vloggers and links to some recipes I'm loving as well as how to reduce your food waste!



HOW I MEAL PLAN

So I usually sit down and plan my meals a week before so I can stock check my cupboards at home, write up a shopping list, get the ingredients in advance (to stop you from popping to the shops everyday) and be prepared!

I work full-time and it's hard to keep on top of everything sometimes so meal planning is key for me otherwise my week is pretty much a mess. Here is a routine of my process, which might be a bit excessive to some of you but it helps me stay on top of meals, save a bit of £££ and keeps me organised:

  • Every Thursday: Meal plan for the week ahead (Mon-Sat as Sunday is a takeaway day!) and write down list of breakfast, lunches and dinners. Check ingredients for recipes and add any ingredients we don't have at home on to the shopping list. 
  • Every Friday: Shop for the ingredients and only stick to the list!


REDUCING FOOD WASTE

When it comes to actually choosing the meals, I like to make sure I'm not wasting ingredients. So if I am buying an ingredient that isn't usually used up in our house, I make sure there are two recipes featuring that ingredient so there is no waste. For example, sweet potatoes don't often get eaten as regularly in our house and so I need to make sure they are used up before they go out-of-date. So I'll make sure there are two meals that include sweet potato that week so we don't end up throwing it away. 

Another tip for reducing food waste is to freeze any leftover ingredients and meals as much as possible. Whenever I buy bell peppers and I can see they are about to go out-of-date, I chop them up and freeze them to use next time. Also, whenever we eat jacket potatoes, I make about six potatoes so I can freeze them and take them out for lunches or emergency dinners.


MONEY SAVING TIPS

In terms of how to save money, as long as you only buy from the list you've made, you should be good to go - unless you are like me and can't resist things from the middle aisle in Aldi! If you are looking to crunch the numbers more, obviously think about where you are buying from and look for deals. It's also helpful to look at what is already in your cupboards and build meals and recipes around that rather than looking in a book and buying new ingredients. I like to do one week 'new recipes' and one week eating out of the freezer, pantry and cupboards. 


RECIPE BOOKS & RECIPES

Most of my recipes actually come from my mum and other family recipes. These are written down in a top secret book (I'll share if we are friends) but to keep them organised, I have written them in a multiple subject notepad with different section for each category. I've split mine into: Starters / Sides, Chicken, Meat & Fish, Veg, Desserts. 

For actual books that you can go out and purchase, here are a few books I have which I love: 
  • Milly's Real Food by Nicola Millbank - "recipes to comfort, restore and keep you happy"
  • Wagamama Cookbook by Hugo Arnold - Recipes inspired by the dishes at the restaurant
  • The Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer - One dish dinners made easier! Genius concept and great recipes


I also follow a few food bloggers on Instagram and Youtube, which make Indian and regular cooking so much more simpler. Check them out if you are interested: 


And finally, a quick list of the recipes I've popped up on my blog for you to enjoy:

What are your meal planning tips? Please share anything helpful in the comment below! 


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1 comment

  1. Thank you for some lovely tips. I already started using one of the tips, cooking couple of meals with the same ingredient to use it up and waste less. How did I not think of that before...

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