The Pinch of Nom Guide to Meal Planning and Prepping
Meal planning and prepping are two of the most effective ways to reduce food waste and the cost of your food bill.
Ideal if you have a busy lifestyle, our top tips are the perfect place to start.
Plan out some meals for the week ahead
The first step to meal planning is, of course, setting aside some time to sit down and work out your meals for the week ahead.
Our food planner is a great tool for this and allows you to set out breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as any snacks.
Remember to take into account any events that you might have coming up, as well as days that you expect to be particularly busy at work.
If you’ve got a really hectic couple of days ahead of you, then you’ll need to plan some meals that are really quick and easy to make and don’t require you to spend hours in the kitchen.
Our Smoked Salmon Spaghetti Carbonara is perfect for nights like this as it only takes 15 minutes to prepare and cook!
Cook in bulk
Batch cooking is your friend when it comes to meal planning, as it means that you’ll have portions of your favourite meals ready made and waiting to go when you get back from work.
Dishes like our Steak and Pepper Pie are ideal for batch cooking and freeze and reheat really well.
If you’re new to meal prepping then batch cooking is a great place to start as just a few hours of work means that you won’t have to worry about your meals for the rest of the week.
Whether you keep your batch cooked meals in the fridge or in the freezer, you’ll need to make sure that you’re using the right containers.
Look for ones with lids that are suitable for freezing and, if you can, try to find ones that can be used in the microwave and dishwasher too – it’ll make life much easier!
Check your cupboards
When you’re planning your meals it’s important to check your cupboards and fridge first so that you can make sure that you’re not buying ingredients you already have.
Not only will this save you money, but it can also help to reduce your food waste because – let’s be honest – we’ve all had to throw out fresh fruit or veg that we’ve forgotten about before!
Another way to avoid this is to make sure that your cupboards and fridge are properly organised and that food with a shorter shelf life is positioned at the front.
Remember when you’re writing your meal plan that any fresh food should be prioritised for meals earlier in the week as this won’t last for as long and is more at risk of going bad!
Use up your leftovers
If you have any leftovers after you’ve finished your meal, then don’t be tempted to bin them.
When you’re meal planning, make sure you leave a night a week blank to use up any leftovers that you might have in the fridge.
By mixing up the accompaniments that you serve them with you’ll feel like you’re eating a whole different meal.
For example, if you served a dish with potatoes and veg earlier in the week, try it with some pasta and a variety of different vegetables when you have the leftovers.
Leftovers are also a great option for a quick, satisfying lunch which means that you won’t have to spend time making lunch in the morning.
If you’re looking for more advice around meal planning and prepping, then our Facebook Group is the perfect place to start.
Our community is super helpful and full of tips and tricks to help make your meal planning a success.
Remember to share photos of your meal prepping and planning on the Facebook Group too – we love seeing your tasty creations!