As 2020 begins, it is time to think about changing some habits to live a cleaner and greener lifestyle. Start this year being organised and food waste free!
It’s all simple stuff, but we know our busy lives can get in the way of eco-greatness, so now's the time to make small changes to your routines and set yourself up for less food waste, more time and more savings when it comes to food this year.
Make a meal plan to live your best foodie life
We all start with the best intentions of living our best foodie lives, with simple, healthy, gourmet plates every day of the week. Making a meal plan for the week ahead is the best way to ensure you're not wasting any scraps or leftovers at the end of the week.
Try our meal planning checklist to keep you on track.
✔ Choose recipes with produce that's in season, so you're not forking out extra cash for more expensive fruit and vegetables.
✔ Use similar ingredients, with different herbs and spices, so you can make sure that whole pumpkin and entire head of broccoli in your fridge get used up.
✔ Feel super organised with a menu planner, so you can write down meal intentions for the week – breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks.
✔ Make a big batch of healthy snacks to take to work or school for the week.
✔ Meal prep your lunches on a Sunday for the week or make enough dinner each night to give yourself leftovers for lunch the next day.
By simply mapping out your meals you can keep yourself more accountable and reduce the stress of planning meals after you come home each night.
Feel the thrill of ticking off a list
So, your meals are planned for the week, it's time to make your shopping list. Before you head out to the shops with your reusable bags, make sure you check what you already have in your pantry and fridge, so you aren't overbuying on groceries 'just in case'.
Write a list on your phone that you can tick off as you walk through the store and check you haven't missed anything – we know the groan of getting home from the shop to realise you forgot your onions, or worse, your cheeky chocolate you were saving for later.
Sometimes less is more when it comes to groceries. Although it seems easier to go to the shops once a week to get all your groceries in one hit, this can lead to serious food waste. To avoid your produce going off, buy less produce but more frequently. That way you are getting the freshest produce and using it before it's gone past its use by date.
Plan for the plan to change
The best laid meal plans can easily go awry when you're too tired to cook or get a last-minute invite for dinner with friends. Instead of buying for seven nights, why not try five and see how you go?
Here are some meal ideas to get you using up what’s left in the fridge before it goes off.
- Got eggs? Leftover veggies like zucchini, pumpkin, carrot and capsicum? Or some delicious ham or bacon? Add some cheese to that and you can make yourself a delicious vegetable slice, some fritters or even a quiche if you have some pastry in the freezer. No matter which vegetables you have left in your fridge, either of these meals can be prepped to make a nutritious lunch without wasting what's left in your crisper.
- Have leftover chicken from Sunday night's roast dinner? This can easily be made into sandwiches for lunches or mixed with some rice, veggies and spice to make a bowl of exotic fried rice. Delicious!
- If you have a can of chickpeas or beans laying around and some tomatoes that are almost ready to throw, chop them up and make some baked eggs. You can make this meal your own by adding in extra vegetables and spices. It is sure to be a crowd pleaser for breaky, lunch or dinner.
- Another leftover favourite is pesto, especially because you can make it out of literally anything you want! Rocket, spinach, basil, parsley, kale, carrot tops – you name it. Pop it in a blender with some oil and extra household ingredients and you have yourself a delicious sauce for pastas, salads, or whatever tickles your fancy.