04 January 2009

Tip of the day January 4, 2009

Waste Not, Want Not

There's no easier way to waste money than by regularly throwing out old food that you never used. The best way to make your shopping list super-effective is by coming up with a meal plan for the week/fortnight/month. Look in the pantry, fridge and freezer to see what ingredients and meals you have and ask yourself "what can I make with it?".

You might think it takes ages to come up with a meal plan, but really it shouldn't take more than 10 or 15 minutes as you write out your shopping list. Work out what you're going to eat every day, incorporating the ingredients you already have. Stick it to the fridge or the pantry door and check it each morning. Half the battle of getting a meal on the table is won if you know what you have to prepare. And, knowing ahead that you have a meal planned really does stop those 5 o'clock "I can't be bothered cooking" moods. You can download a blank menu planner in the Menu Plan archives.

Menu planning can and will save you a small fortune - with fish and chips for four costing around $27, or pizza about $22.50, knowing you can put a meal on the table in under 30 minutes can save you between $15 - $20!

Challenge yourself to whip up a banquet with leftovers and food that's close to going off. Remember to understand what the different food labels mean too - so you don't throw away things that are still perfectly useable.

1 comment:

  1. This comment came in via email:

    "Yes, you are so right it does work - have been doing it for years - and also, it allows family members to know what is "to eat"... and they can the be prepared rather than complain about not wanting it as most "not want" comments come about because they have not thought about it... addittionally when doing the weekly menu plan I incorporate 1 meal a week that I can cook in double qty (i.e. Beef curry) this then gets put into freezer for times when I don't have the time or additional people turn up.... keep up the good work I love the articles." Maureen

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