12 great tips to benefit from meal planning
Did you spend hundreds of Dirhams and when we’re ready to cook, there’s no food? Are you astonished by the amount of food wasted in your house? Do you want to eat healthier but are tempted by spontaneous take away meals? Are you frustrated by your high monthly food bill? If you said yes, you’re not alone. I and many others have been there too and it’s time for you to consider meal planning.
Here are our 12 best tips for saving money and food by planning your meals:
- Create your weekly or monthly meal plan. Decide with your family members what they want to eat. Plan your meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) according to your available time. If you know already that you’ll have a late meeting on Tuesday, don’t cook a lengthy meal that day. Instead, opt for something quick to cook or possible something that’s been pre-cooked. Also, if you have dinner invites or social events already scheduled, you won’t need to cook on those nights.
- Cook what’s in season. Seasonal produce is generally cheaper and all its vitamins are fresh.
- Cook what’s on sales. Check the weekly special offers from your supermarket and cook accordingly. You can also stock up on sale item which you can freeze or store like tins.
- Check your freezer. Before you’ll write your shopping list, look in your freezer and pantry. This way, you’ll only buy what you need.
- Reduce the amount of meat cooked. While you don’t have to become a vegetarian, reducing your meat consumption can lead to substantial savings.
- Use a shopping list. Writing down what you need limits impulse buys and ensures you have what you need for the meals you’ll cook this week.
- Calculate your anticipated food expenses. Josie Castrillo suggests using an excel list to sum up all prices and tracks the number of items required, too. Pre-cut vegetables cost much more than the whole pieces. If you’re trying to save, do you want to save time (buy the pre-cut vegetables) or save money (slice them yourself)?
- Order online. Not only is it very convenient, the temptations have also been removed. You automatically stick to your shopping list.
- Eat your breakfast at home. If you’re short on time, prepare your breakfast the night before. Think of overnight oats. Should this not be an option, get some cereal for your office and eat it there without having to pay for take out breakfast.
- Pile up on healthy snacks for the office. There’s nothing worse than having a stressful time in the office and only finding sugary snacks in the vending machine. Have some fruit or nuts, maybe some chocolate, for each day at work.
- Cook an extra meal for tomorrow’s lunch. For most dishes, it’s easy to make an extra portion and it saves you money brown bagging your lunch.
- Batch cook on weekends. You can make your life easier by cooking ahead and preparing meals which can be frozen. Lasagne or a vegetable pie can be made quickly in advance and you just need to put it in the oven after a long day or when you don’t feel like cooking. You still get a delicious home cooked meal!
What are your tips to save money and reduce food wastage? I’d love to hear what we can add to the list for our Organised Life and Mind readers! Do let us know!
Until next time,