Meal planners – a great way to get organised, reduce waste and save money!

Meal planners – a great way to get organised, reduce waste and save money!

All of the main supermarkets have a variety of meal planners available on their websites for you to follow or adapt to your tastes, with the added benefit of being able to add the ingredients to your basket. They are a great way to keep dinners interesting whilst keeping costs down and food waste to a minimum.


1. Store cupboard

By keeping your store cupboard stocked up on key ingredients like seasoning, herbs, spices, stock cubes, rice, pasta, tinned tomatoes and beans, you will always be able to add flavour and variety to your recipes.


2. Week vs weekend

When planning your weekly meals you need to take into account how busy you are during the week and how long you want to spend in the kitchen. Simple recipes may be more convenient for the week and save the more complex, longer cooking time meals for the weekend. For example if you cook a larger joint of meat at the weekend, you can have the benefit of leftovers for sandwiches, salads etc for the week ahead.


3. Main ingredients

By stocking up on your main ingredients like mince, chicken or frozen fish when they are on offer at the supermarket you will be able to get more meals for less!


4. Follow the seasons

Look at what is in season when planning your meals as these ingredients are more likely to be on offer. As a general rule look out for salads, green leafy vegetables and fruit in the summer months and root vegetables in autumn/winter months.


5. Choose your recipes

Search recipe websites using your main ingredients and see what takes your fancy! If possible, double up the quantity and freeze for a later date. Some websites have recipes to make the most of your leftovers too!


6. Balanced, varied meals

Get the balance right in terms of nutrition and variety and your meal planner will be a success. Some recipes will have a traffic light labelling system to help you achieve this. Eat a colourful mixture of fruit and vegetables and mix up your carbohydrates to make some really interesting and healthy meals.


All that’s left to do now is write that shopping list………


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